Every State and major town in the U. S has a fire department that enforces fire inspection and code enforcement (IFSTA, 2009). In the enforcement of the above there exist specific codes and standards to provide guidelines in the issue of fire safety. The fire safety inspector courses train among other things, fire inspection and code enforcement. These codes and standards are jointly enforced by the fire department and the police (Bowers & Piringer, 2008. p 1). Code Enforcement
This is the training process on the meaning and utilization of specific provisions of a particular code, while a code is a set standard that is meant for public good and enforced by government agencies (Washington Township Fire Department Standard Operating Procedure, 2007. p 1). To highlight on the importance of fire safety, public safety agencies such as the Montgomery county fire and rescue service issued a news advisory on December 30, 2008 warning the public on the increased cases and danger posed by persons who impersonate fire inspectors.
Every fire inspector is required to be in possession of official supporting documentation while on duty. These impersonators jeopardize public safety as well as impose illegal fines on unsuspecting building owners (Bowers & Piringer, 2008. p1). Before one is allowed to practice code enforcement the department of community affairs requires one to successfully complete the relevant programs on fire safety, and then apply for a code enforcement certification application form.
This form requires full information on personal information including name, social security number, address, and contacts, the fire department attached to as well as the license number. The government also issues guidelines for better understanding of the terms used in code enforcement. The purpose of these guidelines is to provide the Fire safety personnel a clear and uniform understanding of the terms applied in the enforcement procedure. (Washington Township Fire Department Standard Operating Procedure, 2007. p 1). Codes and Standards
To give a brief overview of the relevant terms the fire department has the following; Ampere is defined as the rate at which electricity flows. Approved is the term that applies to compliance to authority. Assistant fire marshal is a person working under the instructions of the fire marshal, as per the laid down regulations. The right or power to issue commands and enforce the law as per fire safety is referred to as authority. The responsibility to accept or approve on matters relating to the fire safety regulation is known as authority having jurisdiction. Combustible liquid is any liquid that has a flash point of 100 and above.
While flammable liquids are those liquids with a flash point below 100. These liquids are also categorized into classes according to their respective flash points. (Washington Township Fire Department Standard Operating Procedure, 2007. p 1-2). There is also the classification of areas into classes and divisions according to the nature of fire risk involved. The term fire agency refers to an authority responsible of examining and identification of potential fire hazards. A fire safety inspector is any individual civil servant who is employed or is a volunteer in the fire safety department as stipulated in section 124.
01 in the revised code. A ground fault circuit interrupter is an electrical gadget that detects 5 mill amperes in case of electric leakage and switches off the current in 1/40 seconds. The authority to legally perform the duties of an inspector is referred to as inspection authority. The above listed terms are just but a few important terms (Washington Township Fire Department Standard Operating Procedure, 2007. p 1-2). It is the prerogative of governments through their fire safety departments to provide general guidelines and best practices in matters concerning fire safety.
For instance, in the case of liquefied petroleum gas, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA 58) LPG code. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA 58) LPG code requires written documentation of a fire safety analysis (FSA) be conducted for LPG facilities. The FSA requires the local emergency response agencies be accountable for coordination in the case of a security breach, fire, and the planning for the response to fire related incidents including the accidental release of LP-Gas.
The FSA and assessment of the facility are important in that provides individual facilities with a structured assessment for conformity with code requirements. FSA and assessment of the facility also benefits in that it provides a co-operative and effective dialogue facilitating tool for local emergency response agencies and authorities. In the absence of uniformity in compliance requirements, the different local authorities will be thrown into confusion (Raj & Lemoff, 2006). Conclusion
As much as there are elaborate laws and guidelines relating to fire safety, prevention and best practices, there is need for increased awareness creation of the same in order for the general public to fully understand and comprehend. The need for this is clearly seen like in the case of impersonators with criminal intent masquerading as fire inspectors (Bowers & Piringer, 2008. p1). References Bowers, R. , & Piringer, P. (2008). News Advisory. Maryland: Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service. Retrieved February 19, 2009 from http://www.
montgomerycountychamber. com/pubs/uploads/FireInspectorPressRelease. pdf IFSTA, (2009): Fire Inspection and Code Enforcement. 6thedition. Raj, K. P. , Lemoff, C. T. , 2006, Fire Safety Analysis Manual for LP-Gas Storage Facilities; Based on the 2004 Edition of NFPA 58 Liquefied Petroleum Gas Code, Propane Education & Research Council. Washington Township Fire Department. (2007, September 17). Washington Township Fire Department Standard Operating Procedure. Retrieved February 19, 2009 from http://www. washingtontwp. org/fire/SOP/700/701_02_Definitions_091707. pdf