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  • life experience/no fire exp?

    Hi I am a 50 yr old carpenter. My local Asst. Chief has encouraged me to prepare for the chance to become a fire code enforcer. I have zero fire fight exp. He knows this and says it is not a deciding factor. I am curious what you would say. Would I be able to to be effective w/o that type of exp? Would my lack of credibility be a hinderence in your jurisdiction? Thankyou

  • #2
    I don't think it should matter at all. You are not being asked to fight fires or to give your ideas about fire prevention. You are being asked to enforce fire codes that are already in place. As long as you can interpret those codes there should be no problem. If the code says new construction must have smoke detectors, or free standing fireplaces must be placed 3 feet from a combustible surface, or open burning is illegal why would you have to know how to fight fires to enforce those regulations?

    Just go with the attitude that you can and will do the job and forget about any lack of credibility. Being a carpenter, you probably know more about building construction and codes than most firefighters. Building codes and fire codes are closely related. In fact many building codes are a result of previous fires.

    Go for it and "Good Luck"!!!!

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    • #3
      I say go for it. I'd rather the inspector knew more about construction than I do. You may also want to consider asking your chief about doing ride alongs as well as having some chats with the guys around the station. On top of that, some reading on fire behavior and related topics should round you out pretty well. Good luck with it.

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      • #4
        Having no fire expirence shouldn't hinder you in any way, but it couldn't hurt to get some. The biggest advantage I could see to the knowledge gained thru doing it is that when asked by persons being inspected you can give answers a little better than that's the way the book says it is. You can explain fire travel and resistance. But you do not NEED this experience just to enforce written codes.

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        • #5
          I would also agree, go for it. The biulding code inspector needs very little knowledge on fighting fires. Also since most biulding codes are written down for you all you have to do is be able to find the codes that need to be applied and relay those codes to the people involved. As for fire experience common knowledge of fire spead and combustable materials should do. and there is someone you can always refer questions to if your biulding codes dont cover certain types of contruction such as state codes and fed codes.

          [This message has been edited by chief1001 (edited 05-21-2001).]

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