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Fire Prevention

The office of the Fire Marshal is responsible for all aspects of enforcing the Connecticut Fire Safety Code as adopted by the Connecticut General Statutes (Chapter 541). From the initial design phase up to and including annual fire inspections, the Fire Marshal's Office is there to assist the public, developers and business owners in complying with the minimum requirements of the code.

Principles of Fire Prevention

The three principles of fire prevention are Engineering, Education and Enforcement.

1. Engineering

Fire prevention and life safety starts when a building is being designed. Architects and engineers know they must refer to building and fire codes when designing new structures to ensure that the occupants will be as safe as possible if a fire does occur. But not everyone is familiar with the codes. Engineering safety into building designs has been known about for centuries. During the time of Hammurabi (1760 BC), codes stated that the builder of a building that failed and took a life would be killed [for his negligence]. Following major fires in the United States, fire codes have been enacted to prevent large losses of life from known hazards.

The Fairfield Fire Marshal utilizes the Connecticut Fire Safety Code with an effective date of December 2005 for all new and existing construction requirements. In addition, the Building code and other standards are used to protect the public during this first defense against fires. The Fire Marshal will conduct a Plan Review prior to stamping designs for new construction.
If you have a question about a code requirement, please give a us a call at 203-254-4720.

2. Education

Why can't I use an extension cord on my freezer when there is no outlet nearby?
I have a sprinkler system, why do I need to test it annually?
Why do I have to clean my kitchen hood system twice a year
?

These are just some of the questions that we hear during inspections. There are reasons for each and every code requirement, people have been hurt or killed when they are not followed.
During our inspections, our goal is not to "shut down businesses." We want to keep you open, profitable and your customers and employees safe. The Fire Marshal will assist you with any questions you may have and will frequently point out items before they become issues so you may prevent any business interruptions. We are always here to answer your questions. Just give us a call at 203-254-4720.

3. Enforcement

Annual Inspections
Chapter 541 of the Connecticut General Statutes, Section 29-305 states,
"Each local Fire Marshal Shall Inspect or cause to be inspected, at least once each calendar year and as often as may be necessary in the interest of public safety, all buildings and facilities of public service and all occupancies regulated by the fire safety code within his jurisdiction, except residential buildings designed to be occupied by one or two families which shall be inspected, upon complaint..."

The office of the Fire Marshal coordinates inspections and maintains records for each occupancy in Fairfield. Upon inspection, deputy fire marshal's assist owners in understanding the requirements of the code. Follow up inspections are scheduled when problems arise during the annual inspection. When code problems are discovered during a inspection, the owner will be advised of the problem and given a specific time to correct the issue. This time varies depending on the type of violation and the hazard to the public. Failure to correct code violations can result in prosecution in addition to the risk of causing harm to workers and the public in the event of a fire due to the hazard.

Additional Roles

One and Two Family Dwellings - In March of 1981, the Smoke Detectors of the Fairfield Fire Safety Code was enacted. This local ordinance requires working smoke detectors to be outside of all sleeping areas and at the top of all stairways including the basement stairs. After being "on the books" for ten years, firefighters found that approximately 50% of the homes did not have adequate coverage.

Hazardous Materials - at the workplace, transportation and bulk storage, the Fire Marshal ensures that hazardous materials processes and storage are done within the law.

Propane Inspection Program - A hazard to everyone, old and leaking tanks have caused fires and explosions. Fairfield Fire Rescue provides free inspections of propane tanks to ensure safe operation. Additionally, residents may discard smaller tanks for a small fee at the Town Transfer Station on Richard White Way.

Fire Prevention in the Schools and Station tours - A visit to the fire house is not just a fun trip, it is a learning experience. Children who listen to firefighters are taught critical life saving skills such as Stop, Drop and Roll and dialing 911. Click here for information on scheduling a tour.