“The appointment of a new fire marshal means getting up to standards for the city and county,” Barrie said. “Per current state laws, it is the responsibility of the fire marshal’s office to conduct annual fire code and life safety inspections on all commercial occupancies.”
Both the city and county already have fire codes in place.
“The purpose of fire codes is to provide a standard level of safety and fire protection for the citizens of Texas,” Barrie said. “Some of the focal points are availability of fire extinguishers, emergency exit signage/lighting, clearance between combustible materials and sources of ignition/heat, clear exit pathways, and exit doors being unlawfully locked that may prevent escape in an emergency, sprinkler/alarm system servicing, hazardous wiring or use of extension cords, and smoke detectors.
“The first priority for inspections will be any home child care facility, foster care home, adult care facility and nursing home facility that are required to have these inspections for their licenses.”
Barrie added that those places with highly flammable, explosive, toxic or hazardous chemicals will also be a priority.
“Following those inspections will be any mercantile occupancies such as grocery stores, retail stores, etc., as well as assembly occupancies such as churches, bars, restaurants, etc.,” he said.
“The Beeville-Bee County Fire Marshal’s Office understands the time and cost it may take to gain compliance for certain code regulations, and will work with business owners to help as much as possible.
“It is not the intent of the fire marshal to close down or cause a burden to any business owner.
“It is the mission of the fire marshal’s office to ensure the safety of life and property for all citizens of Bee County.”
The fee for inspections is based upon the type of business.
• Foster care/child care homes is $50
• Non-hazard occupancies is $75
• Hazardous occupancies are $100-250.
Homeowners also may have their houses inspected for a fee of $20; however, this is not required by law.
To schedule an appointment for an annual inspection, for more information on fire and safety inspections, fire training opportunities, or to report a hazardous condition that needs to be reviewed, call the fire marshal’s office at 354-5789 or by e-mail to email@example.com. Businesses that do not schedule an appointment will be notified at least 15 days ahead of their inspection date.