Fire Prevention Division
The Fire Prevention Division is under the direction of the Deputy Chief of Fire Prevention and consists of two branches. The first is the Fire Safety Inspection/Code Enforcement and the other is the Public Education Branch
Fire Prevention/Code Enforcement
The South Portland Fire Department takes an active role in our community to educate the public and prevent emergencies. Prevention is often difficult to measure; however we have seen a remarkable decrease in major fires over the past twenty years through both prevention activities and increased code enforcement.
Annually the department inspects every commercial building as well as every three unit and larger apartment complex in the city which accounts for just under 1700 inspections each year. Additionally, all new buildings, changes/additions, or change in occupancies require an Occupancy Inspection before they can be opened, these amount to about 300 inspections annually. These occupancies have been required to install and maintain working hard wired smoke detectors. The Deputy Fire Chief in charge of fire prevention reviews and approves all new construction plans in the city and makes recommendations on all aspects of the construction process. In 2012 we finished a complete rewrite of Chapter 8, the Fire Prevention Code. This modernized our codes and brought them back in line with national standards.
Injury prevention has also become a focus at many of our business partners within the city. We focus on several areas in an attempt to prevent injuries and accidents in our community. The first is training of our employees, to be prepared to handle all types of emergencies. The second is through public education in our community. This includes participating in the regional juvenile fire setter program.
The Department provides national education programs with the goal of educating the public so that accidents and emergencies can be reduced.
Two of the programs the department has purchased and is accredited to teach are; Risk Watch, which is an all hazards education program and Sparky's Hazard House which provides visual displays and live action demonstrations of potential house hold hazards.
The Department also hosts an open house annually on the last Saturday of Fire Prevention Week which is in October
For more information please contact:
Fire Prevention Division
Deputy Chief Mike Williams
Lieutenant/Fire Inspector John Sheetz