The Fire Prevention Division of the Birmingham Fire and Rescue Service Department provides technical assistance, investigations and public education pertinent to fire safety, fire control and the elimination of fire hazards. The Fire Prevention Division develops, adopts and enforces fire codes, life safety codes, and building codes. These codes are important and vital steps toward overall fire prevention. Fire, life safety and building code enforcement increases civilian and firefighter survivability, reduces fire spread and the negative personal and financial impacts of a fire. The Fire Prevention Division employs a team approach with integrated technical codes and standards, which are enforced by professionally trained and certified personnel.
The Fire Prevention Division’s main responsibility is to provide community services that make the City of Birmingham a safer place to live and work. The Fire Prevention Division works closely with municipal and public agencies to ensure that the life safety needs of our citizens are thoroughly addressed. In order to achieve optimal results personnel assigned to the Fire Prevention Division are organized into three (3) functional bureaus. The bureaus are Fire Inspection, Fire Investigation and Public Education. Though these bureaus have separate functions and duties, their efforts and activities are closely coordinated by the Fire Marshal to achieve maximum effectiveness and efficiency. The Fire Marshal also functions as the Public Information Officer in an effort to disseminate accurate information concerning issues that affect the Birmingham Fire and Rescue Service through electronic, visual, audio and print media.
- The Fire Inspection Bureau is responsible for fire safety code enforcement and the inspection of all facilities within the City of Birmingham (excluding one and two family dwellings). Fire Inspectors perform on-site inspections of new and existing structures. Inspections of properties occur on a routine and scheduled basis and also upon complaint. Fire Inspectors insure minimum fire prevention and control standards are being maintained in specific properties. Certified Hazardous Materials Specialists oversee matters pertaining to production, processing, storage, transportation, and disposal of hazardous materials in the community, such as, the installation and extraction of flammable storage tanks.
- The Fire Investigations Bureau is charged with the investigation of fire scenes and fire safety related incidents within the City of Birmingham. Specially trained Fire Investigators provide a complete, thorough, and accurate investigation into the origin, cause, and responsibility of all fire and explosion incidents. The ultimate goal of the Fire Investigations Bureau is to totally eradicate fire and arson-related crimes in our community through investigation, education and community service.
- The Public Information Officer (PIO) promotes and fosters the positive image of the fire department through the coordination of visual, audio and print media relations. Other duties include on-scene interviews, safety presentations, and public affairs, preparing news releases and public service announcements. The PIO is on call twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
- The Public Education Bureau (Pub Ed), offers several presentations that can be tailor-made for any community group or organization. Our theme is “FIRE SAFETY: It’s Everybody’s Business!” Our primary focus is insuring everyone has a home fire safety plan to include working smoke alarms, portable fire extinguishers, and home evacuation routes. Pub Ed continued to distribute smoke alarms to residents of Birmingham. We are able to nearly double the amount of classes taught in previous years with the addition of a Fire Extinguisher Simulator purchased in late 2013. The LED-driven digital flames and laser-driven fire extinguisher uses a conical laser emitted from a training extinguisher to replicate extinguisher discharge, rather than depending on a dry-chemical or CO2 extinguisher, making it a cleaner way to train, allowing us to train safely in any setting. Groups, organizations, and businesses can receive hands-on fire extinguisher training due to the ability to operate it indoors without any fire, chemicals or time-consuming cleanup and expense associated with using an actual extinguisher.
Along with station personal, Pub Ed continues with fire engine show and tells geared toward school age as well as preschool children. Children are allowed to tour fire engines while receiving fire safety information. Pub Ed also participates in career days.