Therefore, fire prevention and public education is recognized as an essential component in Dover's overall fire suppression effort. The Bureau of Fire Prevention focuses on identifying fire and life safety hazards for correction through its fire inspection program. The National Fire Protection Association's Life Safety Code and Fire Prevention Code have been adopted as the City's authorizing ordinance in matters of fire and life safety. As such, the Bureau works within these codes to provide reasonable fire and life safety solutions. Fire Prevention personnel use information obtained from the department's Fire Incident Reporting System to determine where fire problems are most serious, then work closely with businesses and schools to help them understand and take actions to improve fire and life safety.
The inspection process involves a Dover Fire & Rescue employee visiting a business to identify code violations or hazards that may cause fire or injury. Once an inspector has completed the inspection, a report is generated. The inspector then discusses with the business owner any code violations or hazards identified and the action needed to correct them. A date is established for the inspector to revisit the business, usually 30 days, to assure that all violations are corrected. Fire suppression personnel, in addition to their other duties, complete many of these fire inspections. That is why a fire engine or ambulance can be seen parked outside one of Dover's businesses.
Additionally, the Bureau of Fire Prevention is charged with investigating all fires involving death or serious injury, all major fires or any fire where the officer in charge cannot determine the cause. The fire companies on the scene of a fire determine many fire causes. When a company officer is unable to determine the exact cause, the investigation is turned over to the Bureau for investigation. Once the cause of a fire is determined, this information is used to help educate the general public of the precautions to eliminate similar fires.
Pre-construction plan reviews of all new buildings to determine compliance with city and state fire and life safety codes are services also provided by the Bureau. The building permit process is started at the Building Inspector's Office and plans are forwarded to the Fire Prevention Bureau for review and approval. Along with ensuring that proper life safety features are met, the Bureau also reviews fire alarm and sprinkler system plans.
Questions regarding fire prevention or life safety compliance can be addressed to the Fire Prevention Bureau at 516-6152 or e-mail Fire & Life Safety Inspector Rebecca Jalbert.