Responsibilities and Services
The main objective of the Fire Marshal's Office is to reduce the threat of life and property loss by actively enforcing federal, state, and local codes to eliminate hazards. This is accomplished by:
- Conducting inspections of buildings and facilities within the community
- Providing public education programs
- Examining development site plans
- Thoroughly investigating all suspicious/accidental fires and any unauthorized release of hazardous material product
The Fire Marshal's Office also conducts Certificate of Occupancy inspections, knox box installments, plan reviews, and answers general questions about fire codes.
Annual Fire Safety Inspections
The Bedford Fire Department performs annual fire inspections on all businesses and multi-family dwellings in the city. These inspections follow the International Fire Code, the Council of Governments amendments (COG), and local ordinances that have been adopted by the City Council.
Performing such inspections minimizes the chances of fire and property damage while increasing public safety. In this capacity, the fire department serves business owners as a valuable resource to safeguard their property investments.
The most common codes or violations that are evaluated when conducting inspections are those that can be easily addressed by property owners so the tragedy of fire can be avoided. Some of these include having fire extinguishers and making sure they are serviced once a year, using proper electrical wiring and components, having proper exits and keeping them clear, and properly storing flammable liquids.
The law enforcement agency of the Bedford Fire Department is the Bedford Arson Bureau, which responds in the event of accidental fires, incendiary fires, multiple alarm fires, fire deaths, and bomb threats/activations. These investigations require personnel highly trained in fire investigation, evidence collection, and forensic photography. If a fire is determined to be arson, investigators continue a criminal investigation to include the arrest and prosecution of arsonists.
In many cases, investigators work with federal, state, county, and local agencies, such as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF), Tarrant County Fire and Arson Investigators Association, along with the Bedford Police Department.