Fire Prevention Division
Communities throughout the United States have looked to their Fire Department to provide valuable services for their citizens in a myriad of disciplines. These disciplines are essential for communities to develop, grow and prosper. The communities that make up the client base for the Los Angeles County Fire Department enjoy the best services in the world. This Department is world renown and a leader in cutting edge technologies encompassing the operational arena as well as support services. An essential component of this service that the Department provides to our customers in the communities we serve is Fire Prevention.
The Fire Prevention Division focuses on educating the community about the benefits of proper safety practices and identifying and eliminating all types of hazardous conditions, which pose a threat to life, the environment and property.
The Division is under the command of an Assistant Fire Chief designated as the Department’s Fire Marshal. The Fire Prevention Division presently has a total of 175 personnel. The Fire Prevention Division’s five sections are organized to provide the highest quality customer service to fulfill the Department’s mission.
The Fire Department covers a diverse and unique area of responsibilities as related to Fire Prevention. Widespread and diverse activities of commercial, industrial and residential development and operations are processed and inspected. New processes and products must be analyzed and codes and inspections kept current. Numerous and widespread fires must be investigated and the information reentered into the system to update and improve the safety of the community and our personnel.
The Regional Units Sections have offices located throughout the County of Los Angeles and are divided into three geographical regions: North, Central and East Regions. They are responsible for conducting new construction field inspections, annual business inspections and minor plan checks for building, processes and fire extinguishing systems in addition to containing certain specialized units. They are required to attend meetings with Building and Safety officials, Federal, State, City and County officials; represent the Fire Prevention Division in District Attorney hearings, court cases and appear before public hearings on business licenses.
Codes & Ordinances Unit conducts research, answers requests for information and maintains the Department’s legal and historic library. They propose code changes to the International Fire Code and International Building Code and meet with architects and other government officials.
County Facilities Unit is responsible for plan check and field inspection activity for new construction projects for many of the 36 Los Angeles County Departments. They act as the Department’s liaison and/or represent county facilities outside of our jurisdiction, such as the Disney Concert Hall and the LAC-USC Medical Center reconstruction and addition.
Prevention Data Systems Unit maintains eDAPTs (electronic Development and Permit Tracking System) and EBI (emergency business information) which provides tracking and status of all plans submitted and annual business inspections. This implemented program interfaces with several other County Departments.
Land Development Unit (LDU) sets Fire Department conditions specifically with regards to water and access, on every land development issue within Los Angeles County. They provide the plan review for tract and parcel maps, Environmental Impact Reports, Conditional Use permits, zone changes, variances, street vacations, speed hump proposals, traffic calming plans and provide requirements and staffing for the County’s Land Development Management Agency. This Unit issues final approval for all subdivision matters. This Unit maintains the Department’s “Strip Maps” which identify all past and present subdivisions and all new hydrant locations County-wide.
Petroleum/Chemical Unit conducts fire safety inspections and issue permits for major plants manufacturing, using and storing hazardous materials and explosives.
Public Safety and Film Unit serves the filming and special events industry throughout the County of Los Angeles. The PSFU’s primary function is to review applications for filming permits, issue permits for filming, public assembly’s, events requiring Fire Safety Officers and Fire Safety Advisors and to field inspect film shoot locations for safety and compliance with code and County recommendations. The PSFU issues over 4000 film permits and 400 special effects permits each year.
The Fire Prevention Special Units Section is comprised of two separate specialized units:
Schools and Institutions Unit conducts annual fire/life safety inspections in all public, private, and parochial schools, private and community colleges, child day care centers, acute and convalescent care hospitals, surgery centers, outpatient dialysis clinics, residential care facilities, assisted living centers, adult day facilities, local detention facilities and jails, county detention camps, and organized church and school camps.
Arson Fire Investigation Unit conducts investigations of major alarm fires and other fires to determine the cause or investigate suspected arson. They interview witnesses, collect evidence, write reports, and conduct training programs for Departmental personnel.