Overwhelmed Fire Inspectors

San Pablo Apartment Fire - Oakland Post
The Bay Area News Group recently published an article entitled, “Burned Out: How Overwhelmed Fire Inspectors Fail to Protect Us.”  This is an investigative report that details how California’s Bay Area fire departments are not achieving annual fire inspection requirements.  This article shows the deficiencies of the fire prevention organizations and calls for answers from the local fire officials.

The article’s authors looked at statistics over an eight year period, and show that annual required inspections in K-12 schools and multi-family residential properties are failing to be conducted. Several departments admit to not even knowing where these properties are or how many exist in their jurisdiction.  These inspection gaps are blamed on low staffing levels, and inadequate data collection systems. These two critical elements easily lead to “overwhelmed and often disorganized fire departments”. One Fire Marshal states that the findings in this investigative report reveal “a systematic failure of inspection programs in his and other departments”.

This is an important article for all fire inspectors to read →

Fire Prevention Blueprint: Seven Disciplines for Building Effective Fire Prevention Organizations addresses these issues and provides seven disciplines fire prevention organizations need to implement for effective and efficient performance.

The seven disciplines outlined in the Fire Prevention Blueprint are structured to help fire departments prevent overwhelm and create a clear path of action for their fire prevention organizations.

Discipline #1: Know the community.
Discipline #2:  Have a plan.
Discipline #3:  Enforce the code.
Discipline #4: Conduct plan review and field inspections.
Discipline #5:  Investigate fire incidents.
Discipline #6:  Educate the public.
Discipline #7:  Be adequately staffed.

You can utilize our "FPO Effectiveness Tool" to assess where your organization is, and what areas need to be improved on to achieve maximum effectiveness.

More about the Fire Prevention Blueprint: