The Office of the Fire Marshal is composed of six state certified Deputy Fire Marshals and one Fire Marshal. The main goal of this office is to minimize and prevent fire related injuries and the loss of life and property due to fire within the city. This is accomplished through a comprehensive fire prevention strategy of public education, inspection, code compliance, and other responsibilities defined by Chapter 541 of the Connecticut General Statutes.
Fire prevention continues to be a priority in the Danbury Fire Marshal’s Office. Fire prevention is accomplished in many ways. Public education is a proactive approach to inform the public about the dangers of fire and safety measures that they can take to prevent fires. The best fire is the one that never happens.
Inspection and code compliance remains the backbone of our workload. These responsibilities include mandated inspections of all required buildings and facilities and rigorous enforcement of the Connecticut Fire Safety and Prevention Codes. Inspection and compliance includes, but is not limited to: multi-family residences (three family and above); apartments; hotels; restaurants; educational facilities; mercantiles; fueling stations; manufacturing including hazardous material and storage facilities; commercial blasting; and fireworks displays. We are also responsible for issuing burn permits and establishing fire lanes as well as reviewing plans and specifications for all new or remodeled construction throughout the city.
Per state statute, The Office of the Fire Marshal is responsible and required to investigate all circumstances of fire and explosion to determine the origin and cause and administer any necessary legal action. This information is collected and used at local, state and national levels to determine trends and address needs for education, prevention and code review/implementation.
The staff of the Office of the Fire Marshal continue to advance their education through many state, national and international programs. All staff members are members of the International Association of Arson Investigators. Besides state mandated education classes, members have attended many prestigious learning opportunities such as Advanced Fire Investigation, Advanced Vehicle Investigation and the New England Arson Investigation Seminar.
During October, the anniversary of The Great Chicago Fire, the office performs fire safety presentations to every elementary school in the city. This is a proactive effort to teach the hazards of fire and prevent it from happening. The goal is for the children to pass on the importance of smoke alarms, escape plans, and share prevention tips with their family, friends and neighbors. In an effort to create a safer community, we actively promote our fire safety message with as many citizens as possible. Public safety education is provided to civic, religious and community organizations, as well as at public events throughout the year.
Also in October, we partner with The Home Depot for a Fire Safety Day in which we not only share fire prevention and safety tips, but children are able to practice their knowledge and abilities in our fire safety skills course. Children are taught valuable lessons such as: stop, drop, and roll; hear the beep where you sleep; get low and go; and to have a meeting place. There are live demonstrations of a vehicle extrication and a “live burn” demonstration showing first-hand how quickly a fire progresses as well as the importance and effectiveness of smoke alarms, sprinklers and fire safety techniques.
The Office of the Fire Marshal and the Danbury Fire Department have been honored to partner with the American Red Cross to host a “Home Fire Preparedness Campaign.” This one day event included the installation of smoke alarms, fire safety and emergency preparedness tips – all free of charge thanks to the Red Cross and their volunteers. We continue to work with the Red Cross to provide this valuable service to those in our community who are in need.
The Office of the Fire Marshal looks to use existing and future technologies to better streamline our processes, increase efficiency and further our safety goals to better serve our customers and the citizens of Danbury.