Fire Prevention Services Bureau
The Fire Prevention Services Bureau is under the direction of one of the Deputy Fire Chiefs assigned to lead and manage all aspects of the Bureau. The Fire Prevention Services Bureau provides a number of programs designed to reduce the incidence and severity of fire loss through preventative measures. These programs are centered on four general areas; code enforcement, plan review and construction inspection, fire investigations and public education.
Business and Multi-family Dwelling Inspection Program
Perhaps the most visible activity of the Bureau, the code enforcement area’s primary focus is the Business and Multi-family Dwelling Inspection Program. Every year, fire department personnel conduct inspections of every business, permitted and multi-family occupancies within each city. The program serves to educate business and property owners in fire safety by increasing their knowledge and helping to develop or change attitudes towards fire prevention. Other specialized inspections are performed by the Fire Prevention Inspectors. A Fire Inspection Checklist has been provided to help business owners correct violations and avoid re-inspection fees.
Vegetation Management Program
Another important part of code enforcement activities is the vegetation management programs within each city. This program seeks to reduce the wildland/urban interface fire hazard potential within our cities.
Through the plan review and construction inspection process, the Fire Prevention Bureau seeks to ensure that all new buildings meet all of the State and local Building and Fire Code requirements. Bureau personnel conducts over 1,500 plan reviews and construction inspections annually.
Members of the Fire Prevention Bureau attend meetings during the design and development stage with architects, fire protection engineers, and contractors to assure code compliance, accelerate the review and approval process, and minimize construction delays.
One of the most important local requirements is that every new building constructed is equipped with an automatic fire sprinkler system. By installing sprinkler systems in all new construction, our cities not only help to protect the structures and their occupants, but also help to reduce the need for additional fire department resources as a result of new development.
The Fire Prevention Services Bureau provides trained fire investigators to help determine the cause and origin of all fires within its jurisdiction. By identifying the leading causes of fires, the Department can better allocate resources to deal with specific problems. For example, investigators were able to determine that residents in our cities were twice as likely to have kitchen fires as the national average. This resulted in public education program specifically focused on kitchen fire safety.
Public education is an important part of any fire prevention program. The best way of preventing fires is to change the attitudes and behaviors that directly contribute to them. The Fire Prevention Services Bureau conducts a variety of educational and community outreach programs to get fire safety messages out to our citizens. These include school programs, public presentations, exhibits and public displays. For information on any of these programs contact North County Fire Authority at (650) 991-8138.