Fire Safety Inspections in Existing Construction
Effective May 14, the Estes Valley Fire Protection District has adopted the 2018 International Fire Code (IFC). The accepted resolution, which includes the District specific amendments to the IFC can be found here:
This resolution was ratified by both the Town of Estes Park Board and Larimer County Board of County Commissioners in May 2019.
Fire Safety Inspections
Did you know that over 40% of businesses never reopen after having a fire? Of those that do reopen, 25% close within the next year after struggling to get back on their feet. These statistics from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are quite sobering, and one of the reasons the Estes Valley Fire Protection District (EVFPD) works to ensure our businesses are fire safe.
The mission statement of the Estes Valley Fire Protection District includes providing, “…the citizens and guests to the Estes Valley with superior fire prevention, fire protection, and emergency services”. As you might expect, we take our mission seriously, and work hard to live up to the standards put upon us by the public and those we impose on ourselves.
After more than a century without an inspection program, we have managed to conduct fire safety surveys of every business (over 750) within the Estes Valley within the last four years. This has helped us to better understand the potential fire problem and assemble a more detailed plan to increase safety. Our sole Fire Inspector is unable to regularly inspect every commercial property, so we must prioritize our resources on the highest risk. We are, therefore, asking for your help.
Starting in 2020, we will be attempting to conduct annual surveys on businesses that have the highest life risk – all educational facilities (e.g. schools and day cares), commercial residential (e.g. hotels/motels), and assemblies (e.g. churches and event complexes). Mercantile and businesses tend to only be occupied when people are awake and therefore classify as lower risk. Therefore, lower risk occupancies will be inspected in person every other year or less frequently. This also spares a business the time of scheduling with our inspector when you want to focus on serving your customers during the busy season.
To help businesses increase their own safety, we have created a self-inspection form that can be used proactively ahead of a scheduled in-person inspection or for certain businesses in lieu of in-person inspections. Those eligible for this program will be at the discretion of the Prevention Division based on business type, risk, and previous compliance. The form outlines general requirements based on common Fire Code violations typically found in most businesses.
Together, we can ensure a community that is safe from fire for our businesses, those who work here, and every visitor to our wonderful community. For questions or comments about our Prevention and Inspection programs, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.