The Fire Prevention Division, located on the first floor of City Hall, is responsible for increasing the safety of the community through the prevention and reduction of fire losses and hazards through public education and enforcement of the California Fire Code. Fire Prevention is also tasked with the investigation of fire cause and origin, regulation of hazardous materials storage and handling, and plan check review.
The ultimate goal of the Fire Prevention Division is to safeguard the community from fire, life-safety and environmental hazards through a balance of education and enforcement. The current staffing in the Fire Prevention Division consists of an Assistant Fire Chief/Fire Marshal, Firefighter/Inspector, Hazardous Materials Specialist, and Fire Prevention Technician/Secretary. In 2011, the Fire Prevention Division performed 1,165 fire – life safety inspections, 319 hazardous materials inspections, and 24 compliant inspections. The Fire Prevention Bureau currently enforces the 2016 California Fire Code and the Downey Municipal Code.
The Life Safety Section is tasked with fire and life safety code enforcement duties. These duties include conducting fire and life safety inspections in all types of occupancies, enforcing the California Fire Code and other related city ordinances, and inspections and approvals of Fire Permits related to special events and operations.
The Investigation Section is tasked with the determination of fire cause and origin, interview of witnesses and suspects, collection and preservation of evidence, and with assistance of the Downey Police Department, apprehension of arson suspects.
The section responds to all suspicious fires, incendiary fires, multiple alarm fires, fire deaths, critically burned victims, bombings, criminal activity associated with fires, and any other incidents as required by the Department. The Investigation Section frequently collaborates with the Downey Police Department and other law enforcement agencies during investigations. Currently one Fire Inspector is assigned and cross-trained as a certified Fire Investigator through the Office of the State Fire Marshal.
The Plan Check Section conducts plan review and approval of fire protection and fire alarm systems on new construction or remodels, and conducts new construction / remodel inspections to ensure work is completed according Fire and Building Codes. The Plan Check Section works closely with the City of Downey Building and Safety Department.