Notice of Fraudulent Fire Inspections


Download in English


Descargar en Espanol 


Existing Buildings -- Inspections


The District endeavors to perform fire safety inspections on each business annually. Inspections are performed by engine companies and/or fire prevention inspectors. The purpose of these inspections is to eliminate hazards known to cause fires. Our main source of information is the Uniform Fire Code. Statistics show that an overwhelming majority of businesses that suffer a major fire never reopen. Preventing fires saves property and lives.


Some of the items we look for include:


  • Exits and exiting hardware


  • Extension cords


  • Missing switch and electrical outlet plates


  • Missing covers on electrical panels


  • Fire extinguishers (either new or with a service tag less than a year old)


  • Storage and housekeeping


  • Hood system servicing every 6 months (where commercial cooking takes place)


  • Periodic maintenance and 5-year certification of building equipped with automatic fire sprinklers





Buildings Under Construction


The District performs inspections on buildings under construction and buildings being remodeled. The County of San Diego requires construction permits. Part of the permit process includes a review by the local fire authority. This is followed by inspections from both building and fire inspectors. The following is a partial checklist for buildings under construction:


Dwellings


  • Access width and surface


  • Fire hydrant location(s)


  • Residential fire sprinklers


  • Smoke detectors in each sleeping area and hallway(s) leading thereto


  • 1-hour separation between garages and living areas


  • Tight fitting 1-3/8" solid-core doors with self-closing devices between garages and living areas


Commercial


  • Access width and surface


  • Fire hydrant location(s)


  • Automatic fire sprinklers


  • Exits and exiting hardware


  • Alarm systems (where required)


Fire Sprinkler Systems


The San Miguel Consolidated Fire Protection District has had a Residential Fire

Sprinkler Ordinance in effect since 1988. It effects all new dwellings, regardless of

size, and may effect dwellings being remodeled. Automatic residential fire sprinkler

systems enjoy an unsurpassed safety record. There is no documented case of a fire

death in a single-family residence equipped with an automatic fire sprinkler system.

Most communities that have had such an ordinance in place can point to at least one

fire where sprinkler systems have been directly responsible for saving lives; we have

had several.


It is unfortunate that automatic fire sprinklers do not get proper recognition. Whenever a serious fire occurs, especially when a life or lives are lost, the news media inundates the fire department with telephone calls. They want to know every detail of the event. When a sprinkler system activates, one head usually controls the fire. As a result, there is minimal fire and water damage, and nobody dies. Follow-up press releases to the media are largely ignored. Recent statistics gathered by Operation Life Safety (now the Residential Fire Safety Institute) show that between 1983 and 1995, 90% of residential fire sprinkler activations involved one head, and 8% involved 2 heads ... that is 98% of all reported activations being controlled with two or less heads!


Sprinkler systems cost less than the carpeting in a new house. In addition, many insurance companies give reduced rates in homes that are equipped with smoke detectors and automatic fire sprinkler systems. For more information on residential fire sprinkler systems, check into the links provided below.


National Fire Sprinkler Association

The Fire Sprinkler Network


Tent/Canopy Permits


Tents and temporary membrane structures having an area in excess of 200 square feet and canopies in excess of 400 square feet must meet the requirements of Article 32 of the 1997 Uniform Fire Code and require approval from the San Miguel Fire Prevention Office located at 2850 Via Orange Way, Spring Valley, California.


If you wish to erect a tent or canopy, complete a permit request and submit it with a detailed site plan to the Fire Prevention Office at least 48 hours before the tent/canopy is to be erected.  Please see the fee schedule for the Permit Fee.



Burn Permits


Burn Permits are required for open burning. The Air Pollution Control District regulates open burning and has strict requirements which allow fire departments to issue limited permits. If the material to be burned is "accessible", we are not allowed to issue a Burn Permit. "Accessible" is interpreted to mean that there is a road (including unpaved roads or driveways) leading to the material that can be reached by a light-duty truck. Certain exceptions apply for agriculture, diseased, or pest-infested vegetation.


Where permits are allowed, the minimum requirements include:


  • Garden hose on site


  • Shovel on site


  • 30 feet of clearance to mineral soil around pile


  • Burning piles limited to 3' x 3' x 3'


  • At least one adult in attendance


  • Immediate access to a portable or cellular phone


Permit holder will be given a time period in which they are allowed to burn and a telephone number to call before they begin.


For further information, contact the San Miguel Fire Prevention Bureau at (619) 670-0500. Permit applications are available from the San Miguel Fire Prevention Bureau located at 2850 Via Orange Way, Spring Valley, California.


Permit Fee: $ 71.00


Tank Installation and/or Removal


A permit is required prior to installation or removal of flammable or combustible liquid tanks. Tank installation and/or removal must comply with Article 79 of the California Fire Code.


If you wish to install or remove a flammable or combustible liquid tank, complete a permit request and submit it with plans to the San Miguel Fire Prevention Bureau, 2850 Via Orange Way, Spring Valley, CA 91978.


Permit Fee: $305.00 per tank, per install and per removal



Christmas Tree Lots


Permits are required for the sale of Christmas trees. An inspection will be conducted to review the following:


  • A minimum of one 2A:10B:C fire extinguisher for every 50 feet of travel within the tree lot.


  • Maintain a minimum clearance of ten feet between trees and any building or structures. Trees may not be stored or displayed beneath any overhanging portion of a building.


  • Maintain a minimum aisle clearance of 44 inches between rows of trees (35 inches between rows of trees and fences).


  • Provide fire department access to all portions of the lot or buildings on the lot that are greater than 150 feet from access roads. Required fire lanes must be a minimum of 20 feet wide.


  • Access gates to tree lots must remain open at all times during business hours.


  • All electrical installations (lighting, etc.) must meet applicable codes.


NOTE: These include most of the requirements for tree lots. Some situations may involve requirements not on this list. These situations can be addressed during on-site inspections or by calling the San Miguel Fire Prevention Bureau at 619-670-0500.


If you wish to install or remove a flammable or combustible liquid tank, complete a permit request and submit it with plans to the San Miguel Fire Prevention Bureau, 2850 Via Orange Way, Spring Valley, CA 91978.


Permit Fee: $102.00


Carnivals/Bazaars/Grad Night/Other Special Events


Permits are required for most events. Check with the San Miguel Fire Protection Bureau prior to planning the event.


Inspections by the Fire District are required. Inspections will be conducted prior to the start of the event by Fire Prevention Inspectors or by the Engine Company in your area. Please call 619-670-0500 to schedule an appointment for the day before or the day of your event.


A plot plan or layout plan must be submitted to the Fire District a minimum of three (3) days prior to the event. Plans should include location of all booths, concession stands, tents, exhibits, displays, rides, generators, buildings, fencing, exits and fire lanes.


Fire Extinguishers, size 2A:10B:C, must be available and readily accessible for use in the event of a fire. Fire extinguishers must be placed no more than 75 ft. apart.


Flame retardant materials must be used. Any visqueen, fabric, gossamer, cloth, paper, crepe paper, etc., must be treated with a State Fire Marshal flame retardant licensed application. Retardant liquid spray may be purchased locally. Treatment must be done several days prior to the event to allow for drying. Event decorations already pre-treated with flame retardant and State Fire Marshal seal may be purchased. (For a list of distributors, check with the Fire Prevention Division at 619-670-0500.)


All tents, canopies or membrane structures must be of flame retardant material with State Fire Marshal certificate sewn into the material. A certificate from a licensed fire retardant application company is allowable.


No open flames, grills, candles or sources of ignition will be allowed. If cooking is to be done, in other than permanent on-site facilities, the cooking sites must be inspected prior to the event. Fire pits, rings, etc., must be approved prior to installation.


Electrical distribution equipment must be in proper working order. Multiple outlets, frayed cords, or cords placed under carpet, tarps or rugs will not be allowed. UL listed Christmas lights are permitted but no bare bulbs are allowed. Festoon lighting and temporary generators will require permits from the Building Department. Wiring diagrams may be requested by the Fire District.


Adult supervision must be maintained. Supervision by responsible adults familiar with evacuation procedures is required for the duration of the event.


While not all activities and events have the same requirements, following the above guidelines will allow you to have a safe and successful event.


If you wish to host a special event, complete a permit request and submit it to the San Miguel Fire Prevention Bureau, 2850 Via Orange Way, Spring Valley, CA 91978.


Permit Fee: $102.00


Inspections




Non-Emergency Contact: 619-670-0500


2850 Via Orange Way

Spring Valley, CA 91978

Office Hours: Monday - Friday

8 am - 12 pm | 1 pm - 5 pm

Inspections