OFFICE OF THE FIRE MARSHAL
The Office of the Fire Marshal performs annual fire prevention inspections on high risk businesses for fire code compliance; issues fire prevention use permits; approves fireworks, blasting / explosive use and storage and pyrotechnic displays; approves licensing for those facilities required to have Fire Marshal approval (daycare and residential care centers, etc.); determines fire cause and origin; provides internal investigation services; supports delivery of fire and life safety educational information to schools, civic groups and other organizations; and manages a youth fire prevention intervention program. The Warren County Fire Marshal’s Office is divided into 3 primary sections; Public Education, Fire and Life Safety Inspections, and Fire Investigations; all of which support the Community Risk Reduction Plan.
Public Fire Education
The most effective method of preventing fires, fire related injuries and even fire related deaths is public education. Through the Department’s public education programs and services, the Fire Marshal, career and volunteer operational members, and members of the public education team visit both private and public schools to promote fire safety by conducting fire prevention educational programs. Through this program, they also visit the local pre-schools, on an annual basis to teach fire safety messages.
Fire and Life Safety Inspections
The Office of the Fire Marshal provides the enforcement of the Virginia Statewide Fire Prevention Code and is mandated to inspect all health care, day care, adult care, educational and detention facilities throughout Front Royal and Warren County. These inspections are performed on an annual basis. The Fire Marshal is also tasked with inspecting / investigating all complaints and discovery of areas of fire safety hazards / violations, explosive use, storage, blasting and fireworks permits as received.
Residential facilities and target locations are inspected on an annual basis by the operations personnel of the Department for potential fire violations and general safety concerns as part of the Department’s “Engine Company Inspections Program.” These inspections are carried out primarily by line firefighters as a normal part of their annual duties. Value added components to these inspections are better relationships with business owners in general and better awareness and familiarity for firefighters with buildings in Front Royal and Warren County.
Like most crime scene investigations, a fire scene investigation can involve several disciplines. In a typical fire scene investigation, fire scene investigators are looking for the origin and cause of the fire and circumstances surrounding the incident. This information can be utilized in the prevention of future fire incidents, determination of the responsible party, civil law suits, etc. In more complex fire scene investigation cases, there will be issues whether the fire was intentionally set or not. If found or suspected that a criminal activity potentially played a role in the fire incident, additional local resources will be utilized and the case worked as a joint effort to solve the investigation.