Unsafe Equipment - Red Tags

A Red Tag informs the occupant that an unsafe condition exists. It is the property owner's responsibility to arrange for necessary repairs to restore electrical or gas service to the residence or to an individual appliance.

​​​​​​​​​​The Fire Department (electrical) or Virginia Natural Gas (natural gas) reports all Red Tags involving existing residential dwellings to Housing and Neighborhood Preservation's Code Enforcement Division. Code Enforcement will notify property owners that an unsafe condition exists and that repairs must be made in a timely manner - normally seven days. 

Common reasons why red tags are issued include gas leaks or carbon monoxide leaks at water heaters, furnaces, stoves or gas logs; electrical shorts at water heaters, furnaces, stoves, panel boxes and outlets; and overloaded circuits.​

Commercial property Red Tags are handled by the Virginia Beach Fire Marshal's Office​ (385-4228).

Failure to promptly rectify unsafe equipment con​ditions can result in the gas/electrical service being shut off to the entire structure, condemnation of the structure or legal action by the Code Enforcement to obtain compliance. 

Electrical Red Tags

The Virginia Beach Fire Department may respond to reports of a fire caused by defective electrical equipment or to a fire damaged residential structure and attach a Red Tag to an electrical appliance or equipment that is unsafe or damaged. In some cases, Dominio​n Virginia Power may be contacted to remove an electrical meter until repairs are completed. 

Natural Gas Red Tags

Virginia Natural Gas (VNG) provides natural gas service to customers in Virginia Beach and throughout Hampton Roads. VNG responds to reports of leaks, odors and emergencies involving natural gas lines and/or customer's natural gas appliances.

If leaks or critical defects in fuel lines and/or gas appliances are found during their inspections, VNG will attach a Red Tag to the gas meter, or to the defective gas appliance, and shut the natural gas supply off to the meter or to the individual appliance. 

Permits and Inspections

Red Tag repairs may require a permit depending on the type of repair or replacement. If an inspection and permit or required, review the Permit Requi​rements, Costs and Applications, and contact Permits & Inspections directly at (757) 385-4211 to ensure a prompt final inspection.

Red Tag Repairs Not Requiring a Permit

Residential gas dryers, grills, ovens and ranges do not require permits.

In cases where a permit is not required, written documentation must be provided to Code Enforcement stating that a licensed electrical or natural gas contractor has completed the necessary repairs. Apartment complexes may provide copies of work orders by professional maintenance staff. 

Property owners who perform their own repairs must complete a Corrective Action Taken Notification Form and promptly return it to the appropriate Code Enforcement inspector via email (listed on the notification letters), mail to Code Enforcement at 2405 Courthouse Drive, Building 2, Virginia Beach, VA, 23456 or fax to (757) 385-5694.

Property owners who complete their own repairs and submit a Corrective Action Taken Notification Form are assuming full responsibility for the safety of the property, occupants and for any damages caused by performing repairs. 

Red Tag Repairs Requiring a Permit

Repair or replacement of electrical wiring, relocating or replacing a meter base, other changes to residential electrical service, repair or replacement of residential gas lines, or replacement of gas appliances (except residential gas dryers, grills, ovens and ranges) requires a permit from the Permits & Inspections Division of the Planning Department.

When a permit is required to make repairs noted on a Red Tag, Code Enforcement will only accept a final inspection and release by the Permits & Inspections division as confirmation of the proper repair. A Corrective Action Taken Notification Form will not be accepted for repairs requiring a permit.  

Code Enforcement DOES NOT contact Dominion Power or Virginia Natural Gas to restore service. Permits & Inspections will issue a release to Dominion Virginia Power or Virginia Natural Gas after a final inspection is approved. 


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