Fire Prevention: Working to Ensure a Safe Community
The adopted vision of the Fire Prevention Division is, “Successful community and industry partnerships to eliminate loss of life and property due to fire and environmental hazards.”
In order to realize this vision, the Fire Prevention Division adopted the following Mission Statement:
The Fire Prevention Division is committed to promoting safety from fire and other hazards through:
• Fostering professional relationships with internal and external customers.
• Examining proposals, plans, and construction documents.
• Observing initial and recurring life safety systems performance tests.
• Community education and the promotion of sound life safety practices through building and systems inspections and code compliance.
• Investigating origin and cause for fires and explosions.
• Ensuring proper storage, use and handling of hazardous materials through education, awareness and enforcement.
• Performing legislative oversight and participating in legislative processes.
• Participating in the development of model codes and standards.
• Practicing sound fiscal and records management.
The Fire Prevention Division works toward this vision and achieves its mission by ensuring compliance with the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code (USBC), Statewide Fire Prevention Code (SFPC), and portions of the Criminal Code of Virginia. The two primary functions of the Fire Prevention Division are regulatory and investigative in nature. The Fire Prevention Division consists of two business service areas: Fire Prevention Services and Fire and Hazardous Materials Investigative Services. Fire Prevention Services is the section that is focused on preventing fires and their impact when they do occur.
Fire Prevention Services consists of the Fire Inspections, Fire Protection Systems Testing, Engineering Plans Review, and Revenue/Records Branches. These branches are tasked with responsibilities that are primarily regulatory in nature. This includes conducting site inspections, issuing operational permits, witnessing tests of fire protection and suppression systems, conducting plans review, collecting fees, and maintaining records for these administrative functions.
So far this year, there have been 24 activations of a fire protection system in Fairfax County. These include fire alarm activations which alert occupants to a fire or a sprinkler activation, which not only alerts occupants to a fire, but actively operates to control the fire. When these systems work properly, damage to the building and contents is limited. More importantly, the potential for injury and death to our community members and firefighters drop dramatically.
The work that the members in Fire Prevention Services conduct helps to ensure these systems work properly. From plan review of the fire protection system which ensures proper design, acceptance testing of the installed system, to periodic re-testing of the fire protection systems and inspections of the property. These inspections are important to provide safety education so that the chance of fire is minimized and lessen the impact if one does occur.
All of the actions our team takes contribute to the safety of your community. We look forward to working with you toward this important goal.