Fire Department

Fire Prevention

Fire prevention has proven to be the most effective way to reduce fire losses through education, engineering and enforcement.

Education: Each year, over 28,000 students, grades first through third, are reached through educational programs supported by our Burn Aware program.

Engineering: The Prevention section has incorporated several fire safety system requirements into the Fresno Municipal Code, such as fire sprinklers, fire alarms, standpipes, and photoluminescent exit path marking. Those requirements include several reviews in the plan review process.

Enforcement: The City of Fresno, and the contract areas we serve, have over 20,000 commercial and/or multi-family occupancies which are inspected either annually or biannually. These inspections also occur on all new construction within the City.

fireworkssealA permit is required to sell “Safe and Sane” fireworks in the City of Fresno. Applications for non-profit organizations, which meet the requirements of the Fresno Fire Department Standards, can be obtained by an approved fireworks vendor.

In late 2010 the Fresno City Council passed an ordinance allowing the use or discharge of “Use and Discharge of Safe and Sane fireworks: In late 2010 the Fresno City Council passed an ordinance allowing the use of Safe and Sane fireworks, in the City of Fresno, 365 days a year between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. except for period of June 28th to July 6th when use and discharge will be allowed between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 12:00 a.m.

Only purchase and use “Safe and Sane” fireworks. If the item does not have this State of California Fire Marshal (SFM) seal, it is considered illegal.

NEVER PURCHASE ILLEGAL FIREWORKS AND NEVER MISUSE OR ALTER LEGAL FIREWORKS.

On May 12, 2022, the Fresno City Council adopted Ordinance No. 2022-009 setting the ordinance penalty for possession, use, storage, sale, and/or display of illegal fireworks; possession, use, storage, sale, and/or display of “Safe and Sane” fireworks on or at dates, times, or locations other than those permitted; and/or Hosts who permit any of the aforementioned upon the Host’s property, in a public right-of-way adjacent to the Host’s property, or in a road, street, or highway adjacent to the Host’s property. The penalties are: a fine of $2,000.00 for the first violation, $3,000.000 for the second violation within a rolling 12 month period, and $5,000.00 for the third or subsequent violation within a rolling 12 month period. Each fine is accompanied by an administrative fee of $250.00.

Report Illegal Firework Activity.

Purchasing Fireworks

On the first Wednesday in March, at 10:00 a.m., a lottery-type drawing will take place to select 30 new non-profit organizations who will receive a two-year permit to sell “Safe and Sane” fireworks in the City of Fresno (provided they meet all of the requirements). For more information, contact your local fireworks vendor.

The sale of “Safe and Sane” fireworks shall commence not earlier than 12:00 p.m. on June 28, and shall terminate at noon on July 6. The hours for sales at each fireworks stand shall be from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

It is unlawful for any person to sell “Safe and Sane” fireworks within the City of Fresno without a permit issued by the Fire Chief or designee. If an organization is selling “Safe and Sane” fireworks without a permit, the individual or organization could face a fine of up to four times the standard permit amount, which is two thousand five hundred four dollars ($2,504.00), and face possible criminal charges.

Use and Discharge of “Safe and Sane” Fireworks:

In late 2010 the Fresno City Council passed an ordinance allowing the use or discharge of “Safe and Sane” fireworks, in the City of Fresno, 365 days a year between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. except for period of June 28th to July 6th when use and discharge will be allowed between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 12:00 a.m.

Selling Fireworks

It is a violation of State Law and the California Health and Safety Code to sell “Safe and Sane” fireworks to California residence through the internet and on Craigslist. Visit Cal Fire website for more information 

Snap Caps and Party Poppers:

Snap Caps and Party Poppers are classified by the SFM as a “pyrotechnic device” in accordance with State fireworks laws and regulations.

Per Title 19 CCR 986.7 and 986.8, respectively, these items may be sold at retail outlets without requirement of a State fireworks retailer license or other retail sales restrictions as long as they are units of a particular manufacturer and design, which has been classified by the SFM. Snap Caps and Party Poppers will have the SFM seal:

snap

Firework Stands Applications & Standards
Firework Stand FAQs

FIREWORKS STAND PERMITS:

Q. How do I know if I qualify to obtain a fireworks permit to sell “Safe and Sane” fireworks?
A. See Fresno Fire Standards

Q. What is a 501(c)(3)-(19)?
A. A tax exemption issued by the IRS regarding non-profit status and exemption from federal income tax. See the IRS website for more information.

Q. How do I get an application to sell “Safe and Sane” fireworks?
A. Contact your locally approved fireworks vendor.

Q. When are the applications due?
A. Applications are due on the third Wednesday in February. The fireworks vendor you have selected will turn in the application to the Fresno Fire Department.

Q. What is the lottery drawing?
A. The lottery drawing is a drawing in which all qualifying applicants are entered into in order to select the new participants for the fireworks season.

Q. When is the lottery drawing?
A. The lottery drawing is the first Wednesday of March.

Q. How can I get my organization placed into the lottery drawing?
A. Review the Fresno Fire Standards to make sure you meet all of the qualifications. Contact your locally approved fireworks vendor for assistance in filling out an application for the lottery drawing.

Q. How will I be notified if I am drawn in the lottery?
A. Your fireworks vendor will contact you or you may attend the lottery drawing.

Q. What is the supplemental paperwork?
A. Once you have been chosen in the lottery, the supplemental paperwork is additional paperwork which needs to be completed by your organization and your fireworks vendor.

Q. Where can I store my fireworks when my fireworks stand is not open for sales?
A. Onsite storage of fireworks is permitted in approved metal cargo-style containers only (i.e., sea-train, ISO conex, or something similar), at a distance of no less than thirty five feet (35’) from the fireworks stand. Storage of fireworks in the fireworks stand, trucks, or vans will be permitted only when there will be 24-hour security or a responsible party onsite 24 hours a day, or your fireworks may be stored at a pre-approved fireworks vendor location.

Q. When will my fireworks stand be inspected?
A. Each stand will be inspected prior to the start of the sale period. Your vendor will have the inspection appointment information. A permit will be issued once the initial inspection has been completed successfully. Your fireworks stand will be inspected randomly after the initial inspection.

Q. What can I expect when my fireworks stand is inspected?
A. See Appendix D of the Fresno Fire Department’s Prevention Division Standards for inspection details. This appendix provides a list of the items being checked during fireworks stand inspections.

Q. What if I cannot be there for my fireworks stand initial inspection?
A. If you cannot be present at the pre-scheduled fireworks stand inspection appointment, someone else from your organization, or your fireworks vendor, should be present at the stand to meet the Fire Department.

Q. What will happen if no one from my organization, nor my fireworks vendor, is present when the Fire Department shows up for my previously scheduled initial inspection?
A. Your organization will be responsible for bringing a fee of $242.00 or current fee to Fire Department Headquarters and rescheduling the initial inspection appointment within the parameters of the Standard.

Q. What if I have not received my product by the time my initial inspection is scheduled for my fireworks stand?
A. It is very important you stay in close contact with your fireworks vendor. If your product has not arrived at the time of your initial inspection, we will not be able to conduct your initial inspection and you will not receive your permit. You could be subject to a re-inspection fee of $242.00 or current fee.

Q. What if I need to reschedule or change my initial inspection appointment?
A. You will need to come to the Fire Department Headquarters to pay a fee of $162.00 or current fee. The appointment will only be rescheduled if there is an inspector available at the date and time needed and the appointment is still within the parameters of the Standard.

Q. What will happen if I start selling fireworks from my stand before I receive my permit?
A. If you sell fireworks without first receiving your fireworks permit from the Fresno Fire Prevention and Investigation Division, the individual or organization could face a fine of up to four (4) times the Standard permit amount, $2,504.00; face possible criminal charges; as well as be responsible for cost recovery fees.

Q. Can I give my permit to another organization because I am unable to run my fireworks stand this year?
A. NO. Permits are non-transferable.

Q. How old do you have to be to work in a fireworks stand?
A. All persons involved in the sale of “Safe and Sane” fireworks shall be at least 18 years of age. Proof must be shown at any time when requested by Fire officials. Failure to produce valid picture identification upon request may result in revocation of your fireworks sales permit for the remainder of the daily sales period and/or a one thousand dollar ($1,000.00) fine. Any person 16 or 17 years old, who is affiliated with the organization, may help stock and work in the fireworks stand but not handle the money or sell “Safe and Sane” fireworks.

Q. Once I have received my fireworks permit, when can I start selling fireworks?
A. The sale of “Safe and Sane” fireworks shall begin no earlier than noon on June 28th and shall not continue after noon on July 6th of the same year. The sale of “Safe and Sane” fireworks shall be permitted only from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily. Exceptions to this regulation are on June 28th, when the hours shall be 12:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.; and July 6th, when the hours shall be 9:00 a.m. to noon.

Q. How old do you have to be to buy fireworks?
A. You have to be at least 16 years old to buy “Safe and Sane” fireworks in the City of Fresno.

Q. When do I have to stop selling fireworks?
A. You cannot sell fireworks after July 6th at noon.

Q. When can I use “Safe and Sane” fireworks in the City of Fresno?
A. “Safe and Sane” fireworks can be used or discharged in the City of Fresno 365 days a year between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. Exception to this regulation will be for the period of June 28th to July 6th when use and discharge will be allowed between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 12:00 a.m.

ILLEGAL FIREWORKS:

Q. What shall I do if I have illegal fireworks I want to get rid of but don’t want to get in trouble?
A. Any illegal fireworks can be turned into your local fire station without penalty.

Q. What shall I do if someone tries to sell me illegal fireworks?
A. Call Fire Department Headquarters at 559-621-4181 during normal business hours to report anyone who tries to sell you illegal fireworks, or is not selling fireworks from an approved fireworks stand, or anyone you know who is in possession of illegal fireworks.

Q. What will happen if I discharge illegal fireworks or have illegal fireworks in my possession?
A. You will be issued a citation for illegal fireworks in the amount of $1,000.00 with a $250.00 disposal fee.

Q. What should I do if I receive an illegal fireworks citation?
A. Pay the fine within 30 days to the organization on the citation where it states “Submit Payment To”. Payments can be by check, cash, or money order made payable to the organization where the citation states “Make Checks Payable To”.

For additional information regarding fireworks stand inspections, call (559) 621-4181.

For additional information regarding illegal fireworks and investigation, call 311 or use FresGo.

Fire Prevention Inspector Career Information

Thanks for your interest in becoming a fire prevention inspector. Several fire departments throughout the state utilize fire inspectors for a myriad of tasks including: annual fire and life safety inspections, new building construction inspections, fire related building & site plan review, etc. Pursuing this type of career is both rewarding and interesting. Depending upon a person’s level of education, experience, and other related qualifications, preparation for a career in fire prevention may include the following:

Attending a local community college and passing the following fire technology classes:

a. Fire Protection Organization.
b. Fire Prevention Technology.
c. Fire Protection Equipment and Systems.
d. Building Construction for Fire Protection.
e. Fire Behavior and Combustion.

Note: These classes must be completed from an accredited California community college to count towards California State Fire Training Certification.

Once completed, another series of classes to take include;

Fire Inspector 1A- Duties and Administration
Fire Inspector 1B- Fire and Life Safety
Fire Inspector 1C- Field Inspection
Fire Inspector 1D- California Specific Codes

Fire Inspector 2A- Duties and Administration
Fire Inspector 2B- Fire and Life Safety Req.
Fire Inspector 2C- Systems and Equipment
Fire Inspector 2D- Haz-Mat Operations

Plans Examiner 1A- Building Plan Review
Plans Examiner 1B- Plan Review for Fire Protection and Life Safety Systems
Plans Examiner 1C- Plan Review for Hazardous and Special Operations

These classes will give a person the foundation in fire prevention that most California agencies look for, and minimize the training costs they have to incur. Another approach may be to take these courses and volunteer for a local agency. The City of Fresno, has a volunteer Fire Corps program. Please contact our office for additional information on becoming a Fire Corps volunteer.

Please Navigate to FORMS AND RESOURCES –> INDUSTRY FORMS
You may also view the full page here.

Within the City of Fresno (COF), radio signals used by first responders (including Fire, Police and EMS) can be weakened for a variety of reasons.  Signal strength may be reduced based on the materials a building is constructed out of, or the presence/construction type, height of an adjacent building.  Interference caused by these conditions is a great concern for first responders when responding to an emergency.  The California Fire Code (CFC) addresses these concerns by requiring property owners to install Emergency Responder Radio Coverage (ERRC) systems in some cases.

ERRC code requirements address emergency responder radio strength within a building.  An ERRC system’s main purpose is to facilitate communications within a building by first responders.  Current CFC requirements and Fresno Fire Department (FFD) policies have been developed to ensure proper indoor radio signal strength for both new and existing buildings.  In the City of Fresno (and contract service areas) FFD – in conjunction with the COF Information Services Department – is the regulating authority for these systems.

Property owners are responsible for having their property tested by an approved firm prior to requesting a Certificate of Occupancy.  After grid testing has been completed, the testing firm must provide the grid test results to FFD.  Grid testing must demonstrate that the existing level of radio signal strength is compliant, and if not, then an ERRC system must be installed.  Both the CFC and FFD policy establish the minimum requirements for inbound and outbound signal strength & delivered audio quality for radio signals.  A permit from FFD is required prior to installation of all ERRC systems.  Initial and final testing, system design, construction documents, and installation requirements for all ERRC systems must in accordance with CFC requirements, and FFD policy.

Per the CFC, a building’s ERRC system must provide compliant signal strength in at least 95% of the building and at certain FFD defined critical areas.  Designers and installers must be licensed by the FCC, and all design documents must be in accordance with CFC and FFD requirements.

If required and installed, it is the property owner’s responsibility maintain the ERRC system.  Annual inspection and signal testing must completed; and if radio frequencies are modified, the property owner must have the ERRC system re-programmed to the new frequencies.

During an annual fire and life safety inspection, a fire prevention inspector will determine if a location has violations. Typically these violations come in two varieties: violations of general fire safe practices or the lack of maintenance of (or absence of) required prescriptive building features. In the event that violations are identified and can be immediately corrected or if the violations are minor in nature, the fire prevention inspector will issue a written order to address the violations. The fire prevention inspector may alternately send a letter with the violations noted with an order to comply. In each of these cases there will be no reinspection.

Re-inspections are performed for only the most serious fire and life safety hazards. These “distinct hazards” will be reinspected, typically after 30 days, and, if each violation has been corrected, there will be no reinspection fee. The only fee would be for the initial inspection previously completed.

However, if the noted violations have not been corrected during the first reinspection, additional inspections will need to be performed until all corrections have been made, up to and including administrative citations and/or costs for additional litigation. (See below.)

 

Step One

Initial Inspection = Initial fee for service regardless of violations being present

If minor violations found, 30 days to comply with order, no reinspection until the next regularly scheduled inspection.

If “distinct hazards” found, see Step Two below.

 

Step Two

Distinct hazards found

1st Reinspection = Violations corrected/no additional fee

or

1st Reinspection = Violations NOT corrected/additional fee assessed (additional 30 days to comply with order)

 

Step Three

2nd Reinspection = Violations corrected/no additional fee

or

2nd Reinspection = Violations NOT corrected/additional fee assessed (additional 30 days to comply with order)

 

Step Four

3rd Reinspection = Violations corrected/no additional fee

or

3rd Reinspection = Violations NOT corrected/additional fee assessed and additional administrative penalties may be incurred

Fees for Fire and Life Safety Inspections

In accordance with local ordinances (City of Fresno, North Central Fire Protection District, and Fig Garden Fire Protection District), the Fire Department assesses an initial inspection fee for inspection services for specific type of property. Under the same local ordinances and state law, specific properties are required to allow fire inspection. The fees charged for these services reflect only a portion of the true cost for providing fire prevention services, no profit is allowed to be made. In most cases, these fees are adjusted each fiscal year to ensure compliance with the California Government Code.

Through the adoption of the current Master Fee Schedule (also available on the City’s website) the initial inspection fee is based on the following two criterions:

  1. A location’s total square footage*

and

  1. The occupancy type.

*In the case of R-1/R-2/R-3 occupancies (Hotel -Motel/Apartments/Residential Care Facility), the occupancy hazard type and number of units are used to establish the fee.

Invoices for Fire and Life Safety Inspections

The City of Fresno Fire Department utilizes the services of a third party private contractor for the collection of fire and life safety inspection and permit services fees to ensure the lowest possible cost to fee payers. The current contractor is Payment Processing Services, based in Phoenix, AZ. This company can accommodate checks via standard mail, or can process online payment requests at PPS Payments.

Questions regarding an invoice received, a balance due statement, or other collection related activity should be directed to Payment Processing Services at (888) 821-3725.

Questions related to a specific fire and life safety inspection, letter or permit should be directed to the City of Fresno Fire Department at (559) 621-4181

The Fresno Fire Department (FFD) does not complete operational fire flow tests on the various water systems within the Department’s service delivery area.  Instead, FFD continues to use a prescriptive water curve scheme which was developed in the mid 1980’s to be used for locations throughout our service delivery area.  These prescriptive waterflow curves are based upon the installed water infrastructure in a given area and incorporate historical water flow data (including improvements made to the systems) by the various water purveyors.  Real world results of fire sprinkler performance in sprinklered buildings which have had fires (along with anecdotal data from FFD Operations staff conducting manual firefighting operations in sprinklered buildings) has demonstrated that the FFD prescriptive curve system provides an accurate representation of expected waterflow performance.

To obtain the water flow data for a given project, please include the official City of Fresno address, and email the Department at firedept@fresno.gov

The City of Fresno has long had amendments to the California Fire Code (CFC) where fire sprinklers are required to be installed in existing buildings including residences.  Some of these amendments are related to building additions or remodels, some are related to changes in occupancy or use, and some are related to locations where a fire has occurred.

In each case, these requirements seek to improve the fire and life safety of building occupants, reduce the demand on the City’s limited fire extinguishment and rescue resources, and reduce the environmental impacts (i.e., air quality, water supply, effluent runoff, etc.) that fires cause on our residents.

Once a fire has occurred in an existing building, the City’s Building and Safety Services Division should be contacted to schedule a fire damage inspection (free of charge) by calling 559-621-8116.  During the fire damage inspection, a City Building Inspector will determine if building plans will be needed for the buildings rebuild or repair.

To determine if fire sprinklers are required for a project, an applicant (or an applicant’s design professional or insurance carrier) must determine the building permit repair costs.  If the building permit repair costs, exceed 25% of the current building valuation, an automatic fire sprinkler system must be installed throughout the entire building.  Please note that retrofit requirements are not determined based on subjective criteria like visual damage, origin and cause of the fire, or where a fire may have started.  The requirements are based on building permit repair costs, which ensures that the retrofit requirements are applied fairly and equitably across the City.

To obtain additional information on these requirements, please include the official City of Fresno address for the location, and email the Department at firedept@fresno.gov