Fire Prevention FAQ's
Q: What authority does Vernon Fire Department have to conduct Fire Inspections?
A: Vernon Fire Department enforces the 2016 California Fire Code. Sections 104.3 and 106.1 of the 2016 California Fire Code have been adopted by the City of Vernon. These sections define the Fire Code Official’s inspection responsibilities.
Q: Why does Vernon Fire Department conduct Fire Inspections?
A: Fire inspections are conducted to identify and correct any potential fire and life safety violations. In doing so, the Fire Department plays a vital role in educating businesses and residents in proper fire prevention practices.
Q: What is a Fire Code?
A: The Fire Code is a model code adopted by the state or local jurisdiction and enforced by fire prevention officers within municipal fire departments. It is a set of rules prescribing minimum requirements to prevent fire and explosion hazards arising from storage, handling, or use of dangerous materials, or from other specific hazardous conditions. It complements the building code. The fire code is aimed primarily at preventing fires, ensuring that necessary training and equipment will be on hand, and that the original design basis of the building, including the basic plan set out by the architect, is not compromised. The fire code also addresses inspection and maintenance requirements of various fire protection equipment in order to maintain optimal active fire protection and passive fire protection measures.
Q: What Codes does Vernon Fire Department enforce?
A: The California Fire Code, the California Code of Regulations Title 19, and City of Vernon Municipal Code.
Q: How often does Vernon Fire Department conduct a fire/safety inspection?
A: All business occupancies, as determined by the Fire Code Official, shall be inspected at least once a year for fire and life safety requirements, based on federal, state, and locally adopted codes and regulations.
Q: A Fire Inspector found a violation of the Fire Code in my building, what must I do?
A: If a violation is found during an inspection, a Fire Inspection Notice will be issued to record the type and location of the violation—if there is not a responsible party on site to receive the notice, it will be mailed to the property contact. Unless the violation poses an immediate fire, life, or safety violation, reasonable time will be granted to make the corrections.
Q: The Fire Inspector told me that a re-inspection is necessary, why?
A: A re-inspection is necessary to confirm the correction or abatement of any previous fire and/or life safety violations.
Q: If I fail to make corrections to a Fire Code violation, what happens?
A: If compliance has not been met after the period allotted by the initial issue of the Fire Inspection Notice, a 2nd Fire Inspection Notice will be issued; concurrently a penalty fee may be assessed to you. A subsequent recheck will be made, and if the conditions in violation are still found, a final notice will be issued by way of a Compliance Order. A subsequent recheck will be made, and if unsafe conditions are still found, a penalty fee will assessed by way of a Administrative Citation. If conditions continue to exist, the matter will be forwarded to the City Attorneys' office, and additional fees will be assessed. Each additional re-inspection for non-compliance will be charged as a penalty fee. If you have been assessed a penalty fee for noncompliance, you will not have your violation notice signed off as corrected until proof of payment is made.
Q: I believe I saw a Fire Code violation at a business I visited, what can I do about it?
A: Please call the Fire Prevention Office at 323-583-8811 ext. 281, or compete a Fire Code Complaint Form, to pass the information to us for investigation. This form can be submitted anonymously.
Q: Do I need a fire extinguisher at my business or multi-family residence?
A: Yes. All businesses and multi-family residences within the City Vernon are required to provide fire extinguisher(s). (California Fire Code 906.1)
Q: Can I place the fire extinguisher on the floor, under a counter, or in a closet?
A: No. Fire extinguishers shall be conspicuously located along normal paths of travel where they will be readily accessible and immediately available in the event of a fire (CCR Title 19).
Q: How many fire extinguishers do I need for my business or multi-family residence?
A: Contact the Fire Prevention Bureau at 323-583-8811 ext. 281 and ask to speak with a Fire Inspector. This will depend on the type of hazard being protected, the maximum travel distance allowed to each extinguisher, and the square footage of the business or multi-family residence.
Q: Do I need a special fire extinguisher in my commercial kitchen?
A: Yes. Fire extinguishers with a Class K rating shall be provided for hazards where there is a potential for fires involving combustible cooking media (vegetable or animal fats; CCR Title 19).
Q: Do I need an annual service performed on my fire extinguishers?
A: Yes. Servicing which includes maintenance, recharging and hydrostatic testing shall be performed by California State Fire Marshal licensed businesses. ( CCR Title 19)
Q: Does the Fire Department offer this service?
A: No. Fire extinguisher service shall only be performed by contractors licensed by the California State Fire Marshal. You may search online for “fire extinguisher servicing”, or look in the yellow pages. We do not endorse or recommend fire extinguisher servicing companies. Please be aware of fraudulent fire extinguisher servicing companies saying they were “sent by the Fire Department” to service the extinguishers. We would never send a company to service your fire extinguishers. A fire extinguisher company or a fire service company of any kind does not have enforcement powers nor the authority to demand work to be performed. If at any time you feel uncomfortable or threatened, call the Vernon Police Department Detective Bureau at 323 587-5171 ext. 130, or 911. If you have further questions regarding fraudulent fire extinguisher or fire protection service companies, please call the Vernon Fire Prevention Bureau at 323-583-8811 ext. 281.