Wednesday, June 8, 2011


One of the nice things I've discovered is that Lincoln Fire & Rescue pushes out a lot of information through automated database reports.  I'm all over push technology for keeping people informed.  Yesterday morning, I got an email with a document attached that was a summary of the preceding day's activity: seven fire calls, 55 medicals, 9 others (including one intriguingly labelled "odor.")  At the bottom of the Monday list, however, was a listing of 105 inspections. I knew just a little about it, but I was surprised by the number, and learned a little more.

Fire companies from each station go on a periodic basis to the businesses and commercial establishments in their response area.  They update the emergency contact information; look over the fire protection systems, hallways, stairwells, alarm panels, exits, elevators, emergency lighting, and so forth.  This information is collected on a check sheet form, and updated to a database. Any problems are either immediately remediated or referred to fire inspectors for follow up.

It is good fire prevention work, and it's an excellent way to update information that can be very valuable in an emergency.  The police department uses this data, too.  Once a week, at 0700 on Mondays, the file is uploaded from LF&R's database to LPD's records management system, so it is available to police officers and employees.  It is especially helpful in finding the keyholder in the wee hours of the morning when a break-in has been discovered, a door is found unsecured, or some other problem comes to light that requires the presence of a person in authority over the premises.

Business inspections are a valuable activity with many benefits, and a great example of proactive work that serves a good purpose.  The next step up is the pre-plan, a topic for a future post.


Steve said...

Are these inspections a formal, mandated, requirement? Or, are they just a public service that is offered? Do businesses have to let LFR in, and do they have to follow their recommendations?

I think it is a good idea, and I'm somewhat surprised that it doesn't happen even more frequently. I don't know that they have ever come to any place where I've worked to inspect anything, but I may have just missed them.

Unfortunately, many employers won't voluntarily take the steps that might prevent a fire and a tragedy that might cost their employee's lives, or those of the firefighters trying to save their business from their own foolishness.

John N said...

Director Tom,
Good info. It's nice to know what our firefighters are doing to be better prepared when not rushing to the scene of an emergency. Also, like that that info is shared with LPD and property owners.
John N.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully they won't see the need to drive one of the big rigs to the inspections.

Tom Casady said...


Yes, it is an expected activity, tracked and counted and part of the department's performance indicators. The fire company refers any apparent violations or problems to the code inspectors, if they are not immediately rectified. There are thousands of commercial establishments in Lincoln, so the update and inspection cycle is not as frequent as you might like in an ideal world.


We take the engine, and go as a group, so the district is not left uncovered, and can drop the inspection and roll on a call if needed.

Anonymous said...

did they ever go to the lps office and recommend sprinklers?

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it be more cost effective to have a person in a car making the inspections? Seems like alot of highly paid people driving around in an expensive vehicle.

james White said...

We had a inspection a couple of weeks ago, they found that there was a faulty alarm and the fire alarm panel had been configured incorrectly. Luckily they sent a qualified engineer out and the building has now passed it fire regulation. I would just get a inspection done its not worth the risk.

Anonymous said...

Q: Wouldn't it be more cost effective to have a person in a car making the inspections?

A: No and no. multiple personnel can complete an inspection more quickly. When an emergency call comes in, they can drop the inspection and respond, then complete the inspection later. I've never worked for the FD, and even I realize that. In any case, he explained something similar in his earlier reply.

Seems like alot of highly paid people driving around in an expensive vehicle.

So, you want to buy them a car, in addition to a truck and/or engine?

Anonymous said...

Fire Inspectors, who respond to fire calls as dispatched or respond by request of of fire scene command, are already driving a an unmarked car (such as F3).

These guys aren't always busy doing post fire investigations, and as I recall, are assigned to the Fire Prevention division.

Thus, why not move business inspections to the inspectors and keep the trucks and engines in service in station?

Further, as an aside, can a citizen request a fire inspection of their home? Seems to me this would be a great service.