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Inspection - Information
Chapter 5.09 of the Town of Somers Code Ordinance
The Fire Chief shall hold the office of the Fire Inspector and may appoint one or more Deputy Fire Inspectors.
Fire inspections are performed by Lt. Joe Scruggs, Fire Inspector, who works out of Somers Fire Station No. 2.
The primary goal of fire inspections is to decrease the risk of fire in commercial occupancies and improve building safety by correctong as many hazards as possible.
There are approximately 200 properties that are inspected each year. Each property is inspected twice a year (spring and fall) with follow-up inspections preformed whenever a violation is noted. The combined total number of inspections is approximately 600. All fire inspections are performed during the Fire Inspectors' 24 hour shift during normal business hours. The Fire Inspectors use an ambulance as the vehicle while inspecting as they are still responsible for fire and emergency medical service calls during their shift.
Each inspection is comprised of an exterior and interior review of the building. All violations and hazardous conditions are noted on an inspection form and discussed with the building manager/owner. Any situation that could pose an immediate threat to health or safety is corrected on site and the building owner is given a re-inspection date (number of days/weeks varies based on the type and severity of the violation). The owner is given a copy of the inspection form and instructions on how to correct the violation. Once the inspection is completed, the information is entered into a computer program used for all Department related reporting and the paper copy is filed. The list below is an example of the most common types of violations:
- Blocked exits
- Out of date fire extinguishers
- Burned out exit lights
- Burned out emergency lights
- Blocked path of egress
- Sprinkler system annual test and inspection
- Electrical fire safety (open electrical connections, extension cords)
In addition to biannual inspections, pre-occupancy inspections are performed on all businesses in existing buildings as well as new construction. With regards to new construction, the Fire Inspectors are present for building inspection, sprinkler tests, alarm tests and the maximum capacity of the building is then determined.
A secondary role of the Fire Inspectors are to provide the Fire Department with building pre-plans. A building pre-plan is a general overview of a property containing basic building information and a design of a building. By completing this emergency information, a building's floor plan, list of any hazards specific to the building, location of nearest water supply, sprinkler system and location of Fire Department connection and location of building utilities is important when responding to an emergency. Building pre-plans are located in the Department’s computer system and in all fire engines. They are used in the event of a fire or other emergency situation to give the incident commander a better overall view of the structure and improve the safety and efficiency of crews working on scenes.
(Source: Lt. Joe Scruggs, Fire Inspector, Somers Fire Department, Station #2)