Fire chief to recommend less fire inspections

Penticton fire chief Wayne Williams said less fire inspections will help the department meet goals and improve inefficiencies.

PENTICTON - There'll be less fire inspections if council approves efficiency changes recommended by the city's fire chief.

The current policies call for most buildings to be inspected six times a year but fire chief Wayne Williams said there are not enough fire inspectors. He will recommend changes to the frequency of fire inspections at tonight's council meeting starting at 6 p.m.

"Over the past two years the fire department has only been able to achieve approximately 50 per cent of the inspection frequency," Williams said. There are only two fire inspectors doing the work.

Williams said the changes will mean the department can focus on higher-risk buildings and reduce the times lower risk buildings, such as bulk plants, banks and retail shops, get inspected.

Under the current policy, places such as theatres, churches, night clubs, schools, arenas, hotels, apartments, restaurants, the police station and the hospital are supposed to be inspected six times a year.

Williams recommends changing that to three times a year for the hospital, care facilities, assisted living and group homes, two times a year for night clubs, schools, large day cares, restaurants, apartments and hotels and once a year for theatres, churches, arenas and the police station.

"We believe the new frequency is a more achieveable standard," Williams said. "It will also enable staff to focus more time on non-compliance occupancies."

To contact a reporter for this story, email Shannon Quesnel at squesnel@infotelnews.ca, call 250-488-3065 or tweet @InfoNewsPentict.

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