Inspection   Chapter 6
Objectives <ul><li>Upon completion of this chapter, you will be able to: </li></ul><ul><li>Define the term  acceptable ris...
Objectives (cont’d.) <ul><li>Define the term  selective enforcement  as applied to fire codes </li></ul><ul><li>Describe t...
The Value of Inspections <ul><li>The heart of any fire hazard law is INSPECTION, the value of which is generally underesti...
Demand for Inspections <ul><li>Acceptable risk constantly changes </li></ul><ul><li>The level of support is constantly evo...
The Inspections Program <ul><li>The case for inspecting every occupancy is compelling </li></ul><ul><li>A  finite number o...
The Purpose of Fire Inspections <ul><li>1975 AIA’s  Special Interest Bulletin No. 5 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Seven objectives...
Selective Code Enforcement <ul><li>Illegal code enforcement actions based on political or other motives </li></ul><ul><li>...
Establishing Inspection Priorities <ul><li>A well-disciplined approach prioritizes inspections based on: </li></ul><ul><ul...
The Permit Model <ul><li>2009  International Fire Code  contains: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>46 operational permit categories <...
The Inspection Model <ul><li>Method of determining inspection priorities </li></ul><ul><li>Local officials select the occu...
Inspections of Existing Occupancies <ul><li>The fire official: the broadest mandate </li></ul><ul><li>Most buildings and s...
Routine Inspections <ul><li>S hall: requirement of the code that must be performed; action is mandatory </li></ul><ul><li>...
Seasonal Inspections <ul><li>Holidays pose specific fire hazards to be anticipated </li></ul><ul><li>Best course is rigid ...
Special Inspections <ul><li>Large assembly occupancies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Significant potential for loss of life </li><...
New Construction Inspections <ul><li>Ensure new structures are constructed in accordance with model codes </li></ul><ul><u...
Coordination to Ensure Fire Operations <ul><li>One construction regulation concern </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fire department’s...
Fire Protection Systems Tests and Inspections <ul><li>Installation and acceptance tests for new fire protection systems es...
Special Hazards <ul><li>Modern fire codes address a staggering array of safety concerns </li></ul><ul><li>Inspectors are n...
Explosives and Blasting <ul><li>To enforce construction blasting and explosives regulation requires varied skills </li></u...
Fuel Storage Facilities <ul><li>From a few hundred gallons in temporary tanks to millions of gallons in tank farms </li></...
Company Inspections <ul><li>Inspecting all occupancies lowers fire loss </li></ul><ul><li>In-service company inspections s...
Residential Inspections <ul><li>Registration/inspection programs for rented residential occupancies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>...
Residential Inspection Effectiveness <ul><li>Gauging effectiveness of inspection programs: time consuming and difficult </...
Inspection Tools <ul><li>Tools assist inspectors/ensure consistency </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Checklists common </li></ul></ul...
Paper Checklists <ul><li>Code-based checklists easily developed </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Developing checklist items </li></ul...
Inspection Software <ul><li>Consider before purchasing a program </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Developer credentials, program plat...
FIGURE 6-13 Commercial inspections software such as Fire House can be used by bureaus and in-service companies .  (Courtes...
Summary <ul><li>Level of support constantly evolving </li></ul><ul><li>“ Acceptable risk”: public willing to live with wit...
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Chapter 6

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Chapter 6

  1. 1. Inspection Chapter 6
  2. 2. Objectives <ul><li>Upon completion of this chapter, you will be able to: </li></ul><ul><li>Define the term acceptable risk and discuss its impact on the level of code enforcement </li></ul><ul><li>Discuss the potential impact of inspections on a jurisdiction’s fire record </li></ul>
  3. 3. Objectives (cont’d.) <ul><li>Define the term selective enforcement as applied to fire codes </li></ul><ul><li>Describe two methods of determining inspection priorities and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of both </li></ul>
  4. 4. The Value of Inspections <ul><li>The heart of any fire hazard law is INSPECTION, the value of which is generally underestimated as it is not spectacular or colorful </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Report of the Virginia Advisory Legislative Council to the Governor and the General Assembly of Virginia,” Senate Document No. 11, 1948 </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Demand for Inspections <ul><li>Acceptable risk constantly changes </li></ul><ul><li>The level of support is constantly evolving </li></ul><ul><li>The effectiveness of inspections is proven </li></ul><ul><li>Incidence of fire could be reduced by 50% </li></ul><ul><li>Inspection is a motivating factor for fire prevention </li></ul>
  6. 6. The Inspections Program <ul><li>The case for inspecting every occupancy is compelling </li></ul><ul><li>A finite number of inspections can be conducted </li></ul><ul><li>1979 NFPA study demonstrated effectiveness of company inspections </li></ul><ul><li>Inspection priorities must be established </li></ul>
  7. 7. The Purpose of Fire Inspections <ul><li>1975 AIA’s Special Interest Bulletin No. 5 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Seven objectives for an inspection program </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Obtain proper life safety conditions </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Keep fires from starting </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Keep fires from spreading </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Determine adequacy and maintenance of systems </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Preplan firefighting procedure </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Stimulate cooperation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ensure compliance with laws, ordinances </li></ul></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Selective Code Enforcement <ul><li>Illegal code enforcement actions based on political or other motives </li></ul><ul><li>Unethical and illegal </li></ul><ul><li>Must always be on guard against influences that might lead to the perception of selective enforcement </li></ul>
  9. 9. Establishing Inspection Priorities <ul><li>A well-disciplined approach prioritizes inspections based on: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Risk </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Actual hazards associated with certain occupancy classes </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Permit system </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Determines inspection priorities based on permits required by the model fire codes </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. The Permit Model <ul><li>2009 International Fire Code contains: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>46 operational permit categories </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>12 construction permit categories </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Relationship between list of permits from the model fire codes and large-loss fires </li></ul><ul><li>Inspect processes and occupancies requiring permits under the fire code </li></ul><ul><li>Violating fire code is a misdemeanor </li></ul>
  11. 11. The Inspection Model <ul><li>Method of determining inspection priorities </li></ul><ul><li>Local officials select the occupancies to be inspected </li></ul><ul><li>Develop a written plan </li></ul><ul><li>Inspection warrant: issued by a court commanding an officer to inspect a specific premises </li></ul>
  12. 12. Inspections of Existing Occupancies <ul><li>The fire official: the broadest mandate </li></ul><ul><li>Most buildings and structures are within the scope of the model fire codes </li></ul><ul><li>Right of entry clause: fire officials to enter buildings/premises with permission of occupant </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hazard must justify what Amendment IV to the Constitution guards against </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Routine Inspections <ul><li>S hall: requirement of the code that must be performed; action is mandatory </li></ul><ul><li>Notice of violation: issued to a property owner or occupant listing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Unsafe conditions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Applicable code sections </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Required corrective action </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Date of follow-up inspection </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Seasonal Inspections <ul><li>Holidays pose specific fire hazards to be anticipated </li></ul><ul><li>Best course is rigid regulation of fireworks sales and sure prosecution of violators </li></ul><ul><li>Permit application for aerial displays should include </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Site plans, inventories, operator qualifications, storage/security arrangements, and rain date </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Special Inspections <ul><li>Large assembly occupancies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Significant potential for loss of life </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Additional inspections to be conducted when facilities are at peak levels </li></ul><ul><li>Fire safety strategy approved for a location must be appropriate for residents/structure </li></ul><ul><li>Defend-in-place strategy: structures for persons where evacuation is unlikely </li></ul>
  16. 16. New Construction Inspections <ul><li>Ensure new structures are constructed in accordance with model codes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Job for the building official </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Renovations of existing structures must comply with current codes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Treated much the same as new construction </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Coordination to Ensure Fire Operations <ul><li>One construction regulation concern </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fire department’s ability to deal with fires and emergencies during construction </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Regulation for safety: not black and white </li></ul><ul><li>Code enforcement agencies should speak with one voice </li></ul>
  18. 18. Fire Protection Systems Tests and Inspections <ul><li>Installation and acceptance tests for new fire protection systems essential </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Improperly designed or installed systems result in increased false alarms </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Special Hazards <ul><li>Modern fire codes address a staggering array of safety concerns </li></ul><ul><li>Inspectors are not “experts” in every field </li></ul><ul><li>Some processes require special training </li></ul><ul><li>Inspectors must have good working knowledge of the basics </li></ul>
  20. 20. Explosives and Blasting <ul><li>To enforce construction blasting and explosives regulation requires varied skills </li></ul><ul><li>Procedures should be established for rapid response to citizen complaints </li></ul><ul><li>Preblast survey: inspection in the vicinity of future blasting operations </li></ul><ul><li>Shot records: blasting operations </li></ul><ul><li>Seismograph records: vibration/airblast </li></ul>
  21. 21. Fuel Storage Facilities <ul><li>From a few hundred gallons in temporary tanks to millions of gallons in tank farms </li></ul><ul><li>Tanks are installed above ground, underground, and in buildings/enclosures </li></ul><ul><li>Regulation of USTs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Responsibility of environmental officials </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Tank installation and maintenance </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Complex procedures </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Company Inspections <ul><li>Inspecting all occupancies lowers fire loss </li></ul><ul><li>In-service company inspections successful </li></ul><ul><li>Personnel should be </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Trained to perform a basic safety inspection </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Directed to request assistance </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Goals of in-service inspection program </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Increasing safety; eliminating fire hazards </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Improved community relations </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Residential Inspections <ul><li>Registration/inspection programs for rented residential occupancies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>T o prevent urban decay </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Residential properties are within the scope of the model fire codes </li></ul><ul><li>Some fire department inspectors are cross-trained </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Serve as property maintenance inspectors </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. Residential Inspection Effectiveness <ul><li>Gauging effectiveness of inspection programs: time consuming and difficult </li></ul><ul><li>Chief Lamb of Niles, Michigan Fire Department: inspections program study </li></ul><ul><ul><li>46% decline in fires in tenant-occupied residential occupancies regularly inspected </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Incidence in owner occupied units that were not inspected remained unchanged </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. Inspection Tools <ul><li>Tools assist inspectors/ensure consistency </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Checklists common </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Digital checklists now available </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Checklist no substitute for training/experience </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Untrained/unskilled inspectors cannot perform adequate inspections by using technology </li></ul>
  26. 26. Paper Checklists <ul><li>Code-based checklists easily developed </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Developing checklist items </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Good training opportunity </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Inspectors should carry codebooks </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Refer to code when issuing notice of violation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>You cannot enforce a checklist! </li></ul>
  27. 27. Inspection Software <ul><li>Consider before purchasing a program </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Developer credentials, program platform </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is it based on your code system? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can changes/updates be performed in house? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Does it interface with department programs? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Will it meet legal requirements of your code? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is the system user friendly? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can you contact other users? </li></ul></ul>
  28. 28. FIGURE 6-13 Commercial inspections software such as Fire House can be used by bureaus and in-service companies . (Courtesy of Fire House Software.)
  29. 29. Summary <ul><li>Level of support constantly evolving </li></ul><ul><li>“ Acceptable risk”: public willing to live with without demanding government action </li></ul><ul><li>Mission of fire service: preservation of property and protection of the public </li></ul><ul><li>Inspections effectiveness proven </li></ul><ul><li>Determine: which occupancies will be inspected, how often, and in what order </li></ul>

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