Film Unit

The City of Los Angeles is often referred to as the “Film Capital of the World” due to the number of studios housed within City limits as well as the numerous productions that film in Los Angeles on a daily basis.

The Los Angeles Fire Department, specifically the Film Unit in the Bureau of Fire Prevention and Public Safety, handles all fire and life safety oversight for motion picture and television production studio sound stages, approved production facilities and production locations, and all commercial digital media production conducted within the City of Los Angeles. 



  • Issue special permits for helicopter landings, the use of tents, vehicles on stage, fire performers and open flames, as well as special effects pyrotechnics.
  • Inspect all motion picture and television production facilities, all related occupancies on studio property including wood shops, paint shops, spray booths, fiberglass operations, metal shops, theaters, daycare, restaurants, offices, explosive vaults, as well as all new construction on studio lots.
  • Review plans for audience shows, fire lanes, set construction, building construction, and helicopter landings, and plans for change-of-use events such as parties, concerts and trade shows.
  • Perform walkthroughs at film locations and studios to insure fire/life safety and exiting requirements are enforced.
  • Train, test, certify and supervise all Uniform Fire Safety Officers.
  • Serve as liaison with the City, County, State, Federal and private agencies in regards to filming, special effects pyrotechnics, studios and related issues.
  • Confer, consult and direct FilmLA regarding film location approvals, required Uniform Fire Safety Officers, fire protection, fire lanes and special effects.
  • Attend meetings with film industry representatives concerning rules, regulations, policies and procedures.
  • Prepare legal reports for submittal to the City Attorney Office resulting from noncompliance with codes and regulations.


  • Drone permit - Required for all indoor drone use, or any drone use on a certified studio lot. Permitting for all other drone use is handled by FilmLA via the film permit process required for all on-location filming in the City of Los Angeles.
  • Filming Location Fire Safety Inspection Checklist (aka the “spot check” list) - Required for all on-location filming activity within the City of Los Angeles* for which a UFSO is not assigned. The checklist shall be completed every day, at every location, and a signed copy shall be made available to any LAFD inspector requesting it. (**Exception: This form is not required when filming at an approved production facility, aka certified studio.)
  • Fire Performer permit – Required for fire performers utilized in filming or special events related to filming.
  • Fuel Transfer permit (aka Mobile Fueler Permit) – Annual permit required for all mobile fuelers conducting fuel transfers for the film industry, the Fuel Transfer permit is issued by LAFD Fire Development Services, and all provisions of FPB Requirement #47 (the document which outlines mobile fueler requirements) shall be adhered to. Please note: New permit applications require the upload of the vehicle's current registration, while permit renewals require the upload of the current fuel transfer permit, and the vehicle's current registration. 
  • Helicopter Landing permit – Required for helipad use of helicopter landings/takeoffs in conjunction with filming. The permit request shall be submitted via email following the instructions on the form and should include the FilmLA permit number, along with following PDF attachments of the pilot's license, the FAA approved flight plan, and insurance.
  • Hospital Filming Location Evaluation Report – Required for proposed filming at any building identified as a hospital by the LA Department of Building and Safety. 
  • Hot Work/Welding permit - Required for hotwork/welding onsite during production
  • Schools, Churches & Institutions preapproval form – Required for proposed filming activities (e.g. filming, base camp, parking, or any combination of those activities) at any building identified as a school or church by the LA Department of Building and Safety.
  • SPFX: Open Flame permit - Issued on a case-by-case basis, this permit may be issued for non-pyrotechnic open flame use during filming. Depending on the nature of the flame effect, a licensed pyrotechnician may be required, and/or a Uniformed Fire Safety Officer may be assigned to the film shoot.
  • SPFX: Pyrotechnic Special Effects permit - Issued to CA-licensed pyrotechnicians for pyrotechnic special effects utilized during filming.
  • “Spot Check” List (aka Film Location Fire Safety Inspection Checklist) – Required for all on-location filming activity within the City of Los Angeles* for which a UFSO is not assigned. The checklist shall be completed every day, at every location, and a signed copy shall be made available to any LAFD inspector requesting it. (*Exception: This form is not required when filming at an approved production facility, aka "certified studio".)
  • Tent permit - Required* for any tent or membrane structure having an excess 400sqft. (*Exception: Tents open on all sides that comply with all of the following; [1] Individual tents 700sqft or less, [b] aggregate area of multiple tents place side by side without a fire break clearance of 12 ft., not exceeding 700 sqft total, [c] Minimum clearance of 12ft to all structures and other tents.)
  • Uniform Fire Safety Officer (aka UFSO) Authorization form – Required for the payment of an LAFD UFSO when the UFSO is required for filming activities permitted outside the purview of the FilmLA permitting process (i.e. productions filming on state or federal property, or productions filming at an approved production facility--aka "certified studio"--where a film permit is not required, etc.)
  • Vehicle on stage (i.e. indoors) permit - Required for any vehicle or motorcraft (e.g. car, motorcycle, van, hybrid etc.) utilized indoors for cinematic purposes, regardless of whether filming occurs on location or at an approved production facility. This requirement includes gas, electric and hybrid vehicles.
  • Welding permit - Required for hotwork/welding onsite during production







HONDA EU2000i GENERATOR RECALL - Honda EU2000i generators with serial numbers between EAAJ-2260273 through EAAJ-2485025 are prohibited from use within the City of Los Angeles



Captain I - Felipe Villegas
Inspector II – Marvin Anderson
Inspector I – Vince Owens
Inspector I – Carlos Morel
Inspector I – Timothy Pleasant
Clerk Typist – Kanisha Leonard
Administrative Clerk – Donyelle Glover



*For filming inquiries regarding the use of LAFD facilities, personnel, branding, etc., please visit the LAFD Public Relations page.