How Fire Prevention Saves Lives
Dedication is a major part of the equation - on your part and ours. The Long Beach Fire Department Bureau of Fire Prevention is dedicated to reducing fires and burn injuries through prevention with an emphasis on protection, education, and action. Here's how we do it and how you can help ensure safety in the City of Long Beach - yours and ours.
Dedicated Support Of Top Management
Fire Chief Xavier Espino enforces the fire code, which regulates fire and life safety issues. Fire prevention is one of the department's top priorities.
Fire Marshal Matthew Gruneisen, Deputy Chief of the Fire Prevention Bureau, ensures Federal, State, and local laws are followed for the protection of lives, including those of firefighters, the public, the environment, and reduction of property loss from fire.
Diligent Staff And Fire Code Compliance
Fire Inspectors receive additional training to recognize and determine what it takes to improve safety conditions according to the fire code and local ordinances. Inspectors identify life safety hazards for the public as well as that of their fellow firefighters. Blocked exits, for example, not only affect an individual's way out, but a firefighter's way in!
All Long Beach Firefighters are also certified as Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) as well as hazardous materials first responders. They also address reported fire hazards in their respective neighborhoods. Long Beach Firefighters know life safety first-hand and, like fire inspectors, are committed to safety for all.
New Construction requirements in the fire code provide the optimum in life safety. Whether the structure is being built as an apartment complex, high-rise office building, restaurant, theater, commercial, or industrial property, the primary goal is to protect the inhabitants and property. For residents, consumers, visitors, workers, and business owners, history has proven the need for built-in safety. Properly designed fire protection systems alone are not enough. The inspector's job is to ensure that after the self-extinguishing fire equipment is installed the system properly protects the business occupancy and is functionally ready to activate when needed.
Code Enforcement and compliance is the key in the protection of citizens, businesses, and visitors of the City of Long Beach. Regular inspections help ensure the fire code is being observed. After a building is constructed, it is the fire inspector's duty to make sure that it is maintained in compliance with the City's adopted fire code over the life of the structure. In Long Beach, many buildings are older and have changed use numerous times over the years - often times far different than the original intended use. It is imperative for the Bureau of Fire Prevention to stay current with these changes, especially in light of how others may be affected, specifically those who may be living, working, or visiting on the property.
Plan Check personnel have expertise in up-to-date fire and life safety code requirements, state-of-the-art building design, fire protection systems and equipment, emergency egress, emergency water supply systems, and ever-changing technologies, including special extinguishing and fire alarm systems in a variety of industries represented in the City of Long Beach. Their vital work ensures fire safety for new and existing occupancies ranging from residential and commercial projects such as high-rise developments, planned communities, shopping malls, hazardous materials storage warehouses, and more.
Special Events also vary a great deal in the City of Long Beach, from movies and commercials, to conventions and parades, specialized pyrotechnic displays, worldwide sporting events on land and sea, concerts, and seasonal attractions of all kinds. It is the fire inspector's role to make sure a host of codes and regulations for each venue are in check so that everyone involved stays safe and first responders have emergency access if needed.
Fire Permits serve to track and document high-risk processes and services, with required annual inspections outlined in the fire code to ensure safe and designed use. The Fire Prevention clerical staff is tasked with maintaining and monitoring active and required permits to make sure citizens and first responders are protected from unsafe environments.
Environmental control staff protects the City's interests concerning the use, storage, and release of hazardous materials. It is a great challenge to keep up with the rapid evolution of the chemical industry as new technologies and economical demands create the need to develop processes that bring the use of chemical into our daily lives. The Environmental control staff is responsible for investigating unreported releases of hazardous materials, documenting the hazardous materials inventory of public and private agencies, and the proper storage of materials in underground tanks.
Fire/Arson Investigation success relies on a close working relationship with fire suppression personnel who must be able to identify clues and preserve evidence at fire scenes. Specially trained firefighters with peace officer status investigate suspicious incendiary acts. Vital clues to the origin and cause of a fire, along with witness accounts, aid the investigator through the arrest and conviction of what is potentially one of the worst violent crimes facing our society. In commercial properties nationwide, arson is the major cause of deaths, injuries, and dollar loss.
Office of Public Education develops and supports Long Beach Fire Department efforts to teach fire and burn safety to a growing and ethnically diverse population, where children and older adults are the greatest at risk.
With that in mind, the Long Beach Fire Department has the innovative and award-winning Long Beach Fire Ambassador Program, chartered in 1991. Specially selected and trained volunteers age 55 or better, work together with Long Beach Firefighters as an extension of our public education efforts. Their primary role is to educate third grade students in the Long Beach Unified School District about home fire and burn safety using the Long Beach Fire Safety House for students to practice home fire exit drills.
How You Can Help
You can help the men and women of the Long Beach Fire Department by taking advantage of the following resources:
Follow Sparky's Safety Tips
You'll learn even more when you visit the award-winning Sparky website. (where there are lots of fun activities for non-readers, too!)
Are you interested in a fire prevention presentation or scheduling a fire engine display? You may simply e-mail the details of your request to LBFDrequests@longbeach.gov, or fax 570-2556. Six to eight weeks advance notice is helpful.
More for You on Fire Prevention Website
You will find free downloads and helpful information at www.longbeach.gov/fire. Your Fire Prevention page choices include development and residential resources - plus safety brochures, Firehouse Food recipes, and Wellness tips for firefighters and families.
Thank you for practicing fire and burn safety - making a difference for yours and ours.
You are welcome to visit us again!