Fire Prevention DIVISION
MISSION OF THE FIRE PREVENTION DIVISION
The Fire Prevention Division provides a safer environment for the citizens of Tuolumne County by preventing the loss of life and property caused by fire or explosion through public education, the enforcement of fire codes, laws and County ordinances related to fire and life safety.
We complete our mission by reviewing commercial and residential permits for compliance with currently adopted Fire and Building codes; reviewing applications consisting of Site Development Permits, Development Agreements, Zone Changes, Tentative and Final Maps, Tentative and Final Subdivision Maps, Commercial, Industrial and High/Low Density Residential Development; and inspections, complaints, code enforcement, issue appropriate permits, respond to incidents as needed, daily paper work and business are handled.
THE FIRE PREVENTION DIVISION
The Tuolumne County Fire Prevention Division is coordinated by the Assistant Fire Chief. It is the duty of the Fire Prevention Division to “prevent” incidents that require the response of the County’s fire suppression personnel. It is the job and responsibility of this division to enforce fire codes, to conduct fire and life safety plan reviews, provide fire safety education and to inspect and abate existing and potential fire hazards through public education and code enforcement. The Assistant Fire Chief and staff also draft and recommend new fire and life safety ordinance codes and standards to the Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors as needed. The goal of this work is to make our community safer for the citizens and firefighters that live work and recreate here.
FIRE SAFETY INSPECTIONS
The Fire Safety Inspection Program provides aid to businesses in meeting code requirements. The purpose of inspections is to protect life and property by identifying unsafe conditions or practices that contribute to the cause and spread of fire. When planning a formal inspection, a fire inspector will consider how to cause the least interference with the operation of the business. After the inspection, the inspector will review with the owner or manager any unsafe conditions or practices and will suggest corrections. Time will be given to resolve any violations and a date will be set for a re-inspection. Re-inspections will continue until all violations are cleared.
STATE MANDATED INSPECTIONS
The Tuolumne County Fire Department (TCFD) Fire Prevention Division operates as a local arm of the California State Fire Marshal’s Office and is required to enforce the minimum standards required by the State. No State funds are made available to defray the costs of these mandated inspections. This regulation allows local jurisdictions to charge a recouping fee for the inspection of an occupancy, and all required permits. This is done in order to make such programs self-supporting.
In order to protect public safety, California Fire Code Section 105.6, specifically identifies 50 operational permit categories and 14 construction permit items. Additionally California Fire Code categorizes structures into 13 occupancy codes. This is used to designate structures and businesses accordingly in order to identify the frequency of inspections for specific structures and permits.
State Fire Marshal’s Office regulated businesses are inspected based on occupancy type and use:
1. Educational Facilities are required to be inspected annually.
2. Hazardous Materials are required to be inspected annually.
3. Hospitals are required to be inspected annually.
4. Prison, Jails and Detention Centers are required to be inspected every two years.
5. Residential Occupancies excluding 1 and 2 family dwellings are required to be inspected annually.
Recently Tuolumne County adopted a fee schedule to reimburse only actual costs associated with enforcing the State mandates including mandated inspections and required high-hazard operational and construction permits.
In 2021 TCFD's Fire Prevention Division conducted 131 annual inspections, forty-nine additional re-inspections, five day care licensing inspections, fifty-seven new construction inspections, 501 plan reviews and investigated multiple fires.
FIRE PREVENTION EDUCATION
Experience tells us that fire prevention activities and public education can significantly reduce life and property loss from fires. Prevention activities and education are very cost effective compared to the traditional approach of relying on fire suppression alone.
Fire safety education is a joint effort, which includes on duty fire personnel and bureau personnel alike. Station tours, fire engine demonstrations and safety talks are a daily routine.
For any questions, please feel free to contact the Fire Prevention Division:
Mailing Address: 18440 Striker Court Sonora, CA 95370
Location Address: 48 West Yaney Avenue Sonora, CA 95370 (4th floor, Francisco Bldg.)
Phone: (209) 533-5118- option 2
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