Fire Prevention and Inspection
Fire Prevention and Inspection
Fire prevention activities are provided by the fire district as part of our service to protect life and property from fire and other hazards. Code enforcement, pre-construction plan review, public fire education and the investigation of fires are all components of the prevention program. The Office of the Fire Marshal is responsible for implementing and managing activities in this section and is composed of a Battalion Chief, Fire Marshal and certified Fire Inspectors.
The Miami Valley Fire District has adopted the current version of the Ohio Fire Code to govern the fire prevention activities of the fire district. Internationally, code officials recognize the need for a modern, up-to-date fire code addressing conditions hazardous to life and property from fire, explosion, handling or use of hazardous materials and the use and occupancy of buildings and premises. The Ohio Fire Code is designed to meet these needs through model code regulations that safeguard the public health and safety in all communities, large and small. This comprehensive fire code contains the Ohio Administrative Code Rules that comprise the Ohio Fire Code.
The Ohio Fire Code is a code of statewide applicability that consists of rules relating to all aspects of fire safety and other matters regulated by the State Fire Marshal’s. The Ohio Fire Code establishes the minimum standards for safeguarding life and property from fire and explosion in Ohio. In promulgating the Ohio Fire Code, the State Fire Marshal of Ohio, per Ohio Revised Code Section 3737.82, must include rules relating to: the movable contents of any building, or class of buildings; the transportation, storage, location and use of flammable and explosive materials; the procedures to be employed by persons in the event of fire; the installation and location of fire protection equipment; rules applicable to particular classes of existing buildings or structures as the use and occupancy of such buildings or structures suggest are necessary; and other similar matters. The Ohio Fire Code as promulgated is enforceable by the State Fire Marshal, Assistant State Fire Marshals and/or certified fire safety inspectors.
As part of our ongoing challenge to protect life and property, inspections of commercial occupancies are conducted to monitor and rectify conditions that may cause fire situations or the spread of fire. The primary objective of these inspections are to ensure the safe egress of occupants who may be endangered by fire or its byproducts. Fire District Personnel work in cooperation with commercial and residential property owners in order to facilitate proper fire safety through the inspection process. It is the responsibility of the Fire Marshal to enforce all aspects of local, state and federal regulations/codes pertaining to fire and life safety compliance.
Plan Review Program
The fire prevention bureau conducts detailed reviews of planning documents submitted to both the City of Miamisburg and Montgomery County Building Regulations departments. These reviews compare what the architect or designer submitted to the current adopted building and fire codes. Depending on the amount of information and data to review, some of the submittals may take only a few minutes to review while others may take several days. This service is provided to our business owners at no cost. If an item is identified as non-compliant, the building code official is notified and typically the plans are required to be corrected.
Once review is complete a letter documenting compliance is sent to the building official and the building permit is issued by the building official.
After the building construction starts, fire inspectors conduct periodic inspections and insure all fire protection and life safety systems are tested to assure they are working properly. Once this final acceptance testing has been completed the building official is notified and a certificate of occupancy will be issued.
Fire Watch Program
The Fire Watch program is an option that allows a building to remain occupied when a fire protection system fails or is otherwise taken out of service for maintenance or malfunction.
When a building is constructed many contain fire alarms and sprinkler systems for early detection of fire or for the extinguishment of a fire.
These systems are typically required systems, when one of these fail, the Ohio Building code says the structure must be vacated. In order to maintain or keep the occupancy in a building, the only other approve-able action is to perform a fire watch.
Miami Valley Fire District allows the business owner or occupant to designate a person as a “Fire Watch” coordinator. This person’s only function is to walk the building and keep an eye out for fires or similar situations that could cause a fire. The fire watch coordinator does not need to have specific training other than how to use a fire extinguisher and the ability to dial our dispatch center (911) in the event of an emergency. Business walk through’s must be conducted every hour and documented on paperwork provided.
The fire watch coordinator shall continue their duties until the fire protection system is returned to full service and with this in place, the building may return to normal use.
The fire watch may be an around the clock 24-hour function depending on the severity of the system impairment. For example, if a dialer for the fire alarm panel is down the building may need a 24-hour watch. If just a small portion of the system was taken out of service, the building may only need to be watched until the end of business.
Important Smoke Detector Information
The Fire Prevention Bureau
is staffed full-time by:
Robert Pugh works with all buildings under construction. Each building goes through a comprehensive plan review process that checks to make sure the construction is compliant with current codes and standards. Through review, enforcement and correction procedures, The Miami Valley Fire District has maintained an outstanding record of minor loss of life and property due to fire.
All Miami Valley Fire District career employees are certified fire inspectors who assist the Fire Prevention Bureau in completing inspections of businesses in Miami Township and the City of Miamisburg.
Every existing business is inspected annually by the Fire Prevention Bureau and its team of skilled fire safety inspectors.