Would you be ready if an unannounced fire marshal visit took place at your business? Let Centurion help you prepare!
Generally speaking, a Fire Marshal’s Office is responsible for fire code enforcement and can exist at a state, county or municipal level. The inspectors are considered law enforcement officers and may wear a uniform, carry a firearm, a badge, and have limited powers of arrest. Fire marshals can also have the additional responsibilities of investigating fires and compiling written reports. For violations of the fire code, a fire marshal is usually able to issue citations, levy fines and order corrective action within a specified time period. With certain situations, a fire marshal may have the authority to shut a business down for fire code violations. One of the more common reasons is when a building has a higher human occupancy level than permitted under the regulations. In some instances, a fire marshal may even have the authority to cancel a business owner’s occupancy license.
Business owners sometimes confuse a fire marshal inspection with a visit from their local fire department. Usually, a visit by fire department representatives will be for pre-fire planning purposes to note such things as access to the structure, the type of building occupancy, availability of water supplies, types of private fire protection and special hazards to include the presence of quantities of flammable liquids and hazardous chemicals. This serves to increase their knowledge level should they have to respond to that location to fight a fire. However, local fire departments may be authorized to conduct fire inspections if they have a trained inspector.