An open letter from the Community Risk Reduction Bureau,
I never have a fire – Why do I need the fire department? I pay a lot of taxes and I do not see any benefit to me.
Think of the fire department like an insurance policy. You pay toward the policy, hoping you never need it, but have that peace-of-mind that we will be there in your time of need. And, like an insurance policy, you need to know what you are getting for your money.
The number one priority in this job is life safety. We will do all we can to save a life, from a fire or on an EMS call. That is our first and most important priority.
Our number two priority is the preservation of property. In your home – that would include your cherished belongings such as pictures and keepsakes. In your business, this would be valuable records, computer systems and saleable stock.
The Sylvania Fire-EMS Department uses the International Association of Fire Chiefs risk assessment and management guide for our risk assessment at the scene of a fire or other emergency, helping reduce needless firefighter death and injury.
The job of life safety and property preservation actually starts with our fire prevention/risk reduction programs in the community. Through fire safety inspections in our commercial businesses, schools, hospitals, day-care centers and industrial buildings, and our risk reduction safety education programs presented throughout the community, the fire department is working diligently to keep our community safe from fire and promote a healthy lifestyle to our citizens.
Having a community that is prepared for disaster is a community that survives and grows. Preparing for a fire or disaster is paramount for a business. According to a study by Michigan State University and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 47% of businesses that experience a major fire or theft go out of business, 44% of companies that lose records in a disaster never resume business and 93% of companies that experience a significant data loss are out of business within five years. If an organization is fortunate enough to survive a disaster without a plan for recovery, it will not survive unscathed. Aside from the direct revenue losses incurred during the failure (fire, theft, disaster), the organization will also suffer intangible costs such as cash flow interruption, loss of customers, loss of competitive edge, erosion of image and reduced market share.
Being prepared. That is the job of the fire department to be able to assist you in your time of need. The goal of Fire Prevention/Risk Reduction is to assist businesses in reducing hazards that could contribute to starting a fire or cause an injury by preforming annual fire safety inspections. These inspections are required by law. The ultimate goal is to prevent a fire or hazardous condition from happening in the first place.
“I never thought it could happen to me”. These are words we do not want to hear, because they are words from someone who was not prepared.
Deputy Chief Mike Froelich
Fire Prevention / Community Risk Reduction
Code enforcement is primarily completed through building inspections, on an annual basis, which are completed by the on-duty Engine and Truck Company crews. Having these crews complete fire safety inspections allows them to become more familiar with the buildings in the fire district, which helps them when responding to them for an emergency. These inspections help keep the residents of Sylvania safe by ensuring our area businesses are free of fire code violations and hazards. While conducting these inspections, fire department personnel may verify proper maintenance of fire protection equipment and the operation of fixtures such as smoke detectors, fire alarm systems and emergency lighting equipment.
If you are a commercial building owner or business occupant in the City of Sylvania or Sylvania Township, you can expect a fire department inspector to visit your facility approximately once a year. This annual inspection is intended to support the building owner or occupant’s responsibility to maintain a fire code violation free business, and thereby we will all enjoy a safer Sylvania!
The Sylvania Fire-Ems Department participates in the national Knox Box® program and the new Knox HomeBox® program. The Ohio Fire Code allows the local fire department the option to require a key box on the property of a business. This is to allow the fire department access after-hours to gain entry to check on a fire alarm or sprinkler water-flow alarm without having to cause damage by “breaking-in”. The Knox Box® system is a secure key box that you purchase and place on your building at a location acceptable to the fire department. The local fire department is the only entity to have a key for this box. If needed, they can enter your building to check on an alarm without causing damage. There are Knox HomeBox® key boxes for residential occupancies also. The keys kept by your Sylvania Fire Department are secured in the fire engines and can only be accessed by our firefighters with a passcode which logs the time and name of who has accessed a key. Contact Knox Box or Knox HomeBox to order.
If you have further questions, please give us a call. 419-882-7676 or email Deputy Chief Froelich.
If you wish to have a campfire, the fire code allows this as long as the fire is a minimum of 25 feet from a building or combustible material as well as a fence or property line, the wood stack size must not be larger than 2 feet high by 3 feet wide, the fire must be constantly attended and you must have a way to control or extinguish the fire immediately available. If the fire emits smoke that becomes objectionable or offensive, or atmospheric conditions make the fire hazardous, the fire code mandates the fire be extinguished. A permit from the EPA and the fire department is required for any fires larger than a campfire, such as a bon fire.
If you have any questions, please call your Sylvania Fire Department at 419-882-7676.
Can a resident of the city or township have their home inspected?
Yes. The fire department also performs residential home fire inspections. If a resident would like an inspector to evaluate the safety of a house they can call the fire department and set up an appointment for an inspector to come out. We will do the inspection with you, making suggestions on how one might make their home safer and to point out fire hazards that the homeowner may not be aware of.
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