NWFRS schedules fire inspections this month
By Jim Bleecker
Fire Marshal, NWFRS
Beginning this month, business owners within the city of Blaine can expect to be contacted by North Whatcom Fire & Rescue Service (NWFRS) personnel to begin scheduling their annual life and safety fire inspection of their businesses as part of our engine company inspection program.
Business owners are reminded that in an effort to minimize any disruptions to your work day NWFRS personnel will be coordinating with you to schedule a time for your inspection that is best suited for you.
The inspection of your workplace will generally take place during regular business hours, but may occasionally take place during the evening or on a weekend. Inspections are performed by trained fire district personnel who will evaluate your place of business for existing hazards that may lead to fire or otherwise pose a threat to your business, employees and patrons. There is no fee for this inspection.
The inspection provides you the benefit of a thorough and professional inspection that will aid you in mitigating potential hazards. For the district, the inspection provides the benefit of minimizing fire hazards as well as providing an opportunity to observe the physical layout of your business.
This information is used to create a pre-incident plan enabling us to serve you more efficiently in the event of an emergency at your location. In addition, the presence of an effective inspection program is a factor that is considered by the Washington Survey and Rating Bureau when determining the district’s Insurance Services Office (ISO) rating. A better rating is a benefit to the district and business owners as it may decrease associated insurance rates.
With the resounding success of the engine company inspection program that was implemented in 2008 coupled with the anticipated success rate of this year’s round of inspections, there is no reason to believe that the city of Blaine’s ISO rating of 6 cannot be lowered to a rating of 4 resulting in substantial savings on insurance rates.
As you prepare for the inspection, all business owners are encouraged to visit NWFRS’ web site at www.nwfrs.net and navigate the following path to our fire safety self-inspection checklist.
• Click on www.nwfrs.net
• Click on “What we do”
• Click on “fire prevention”
• Click on “inspection program”
• Click on the fire safety self-inspection checklist
By completing this checklist, you will be taking proactive steps to identify potential life/safety issues and corrective measures have been taken to ensure that your business is in compliance with the International Fire Code.
It is our objective to work cooperatively with business owners and managers to make your business a safe place for customers, employees, and owners.
If you have questions about the inspection program or would like additional information, please feel free to contact me, Jim Bleecker, at 360/318-9933 or visit me at my office at 9408 Odell Road in Blaine.
Have a safe and prosperous year.