Abilene Fire Department
Fire Prevention is a division of Community & Support Services, and is directed by the Fire Marshal, who is appointed by the Fire Chief. The Fire Prevention Division is responsible for the broad range of services and activities described below. The division is staffed by the Fire Marshal, Assistant Fire Marshal, four Fire Inspector/Investigators, The Public Education Coordinator and one Administrative Assistant. In addition to the responsibilities and programs listed below, this division also gathers and maintains vital information for local, state, and national statistics, including total fires, arson fires, juvenile fires, etc.
The Public Education Office provides safety education programs and presentations for all Abilenians, from preschoolers to senior citizens. The Public Education Coordinator is part of the Safety City team, conducting demonstrations in the Fire Safety House, as well as assisting with fire drills and public relations events around the City. The department also provides a variety of printed materials covering a wide range of fire safety and prevention topics. Please call (325) 676-6682 for more information on fire safety eduction or to schedule a presentation for your school or group.
The Fire Marshal's Office is responsible for determining fire causes within the City of Abilene, a service that is also available upon request to other area fire departments. The four investigators assigned to this division perform formal fire inspections, fire investigation, and assist with other activities assigned to Fire Prevention. These investigators are the "police" of the Fire Department, and investigate all fire-related crimes within the city. Investigators are State-certified firefighters, State-certified law enforcement officers, fire inspectors and arson investigators. Fire Investigators have the same authority as any Texas Peace Officer.
Fire Investigators are also responsible for investigating fires that resulted in burn injuries and/or fatalities, as well as all misdemeanor offenses involving fires, such as false alarms and criminal mischief fires. In cases involving juveniles, investigators either counsel the juvenile and his/her parents, or refer the juvenile to the Police Department.
One of the primary duties of this division is administering and enforcing the International Fire Code within the city. Investigators work closely with Abilene Building Inspectors to ensure consistent and accurate administration of the Fire Code in conjunction with the Uniform Building Code.
Special inspections are conducted at functions such as concerts, rodeos, circuses, etc., and spot inspections are conducted regularly at Abilene nightclubs to prevent overcrowding. Inspections are also done prior to the issuance of a required permit. Permits are required for activities such as the installation or repair of fire sprinkler systems or fire alarm systems, the installation or removal of fuel storage tanks, bonfires, controlled burns, etc.
The Fire Marshal is responsible for ensuring that all new building construction complies with the International Fire Code and all State and Federal rules and regulations. Blueprints are initially reviewed by Building Inspectors and then routed to the Fire Marshal for his comments. Noted requirements are reviewed on-site as the building is being constructed. No building is permitted to be inhabited until a Certificate of Occupancy is issued by the Fire Marshal or his authorized representative.