The goal of the Fire Department's Prevention Division is to stop fires before they ever start. We accomplish this goal by conducting inspections, reviewing building plans, witnessing acceptance testing of life safety systems, and offering public education outreach programs.
Through consultation, site visits, and code inspections, division personnel administer and enforce laws related to fire safety, including the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA 1) Fire Prevention Code.
Normal Fire Department Prevention Division has three full-time fire and life safety inspectors. The Prevention Division enforces the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA 1) Fire Prevention Code by performing inspections on each commercial occupancy at least once a year, and on hospitals, day care centers and liquor license establishments at least twice a year.
These inspections are unannounced and, if violations are noted, require a reinspection to ensure that violations have been corrected. Inspections may also occur based on a complaint or concern voiced by the public or another Town agency. Occupant load inspections are also conducted on a routine basis. The purpose of our occupant load inspections is to ensure that restaurants and other gathering places are adhering to the law as it applies to occupancy limits. Locked or blocked exit doors, inadequate signage or lighting, and overcrowding place the public at unlawful risk.
A representative of the occupancy will sign and receive a digital copy of the inspection report prior to the inspector departing the property or the paper copy will be mailed to the business if unattended at the time of inspection. The inspectors will notate any violations and will return on a re-inspection to ensure that the violations have been corrected. A re-inspection is then conducted to verify that the violations have been corrected. If the violations have not been corrected, another notice is issued and may include a summons. Generally, summons are used in cases where the inspector finds insufficient effort to comply with the law. However, a summons may be issued upon discovery of extreme, blatant, or repeat violations.
Inspectors have authority to administer and enforce all fire codes and regulations of the Town of Normal and the State of Illinois within the Town of Normal and specifically, but not limited to the Fire Prevention Code of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA 1) as adopted by the Town of Normal and can make recommendations to the fire chief as to ordinances desirable for the prevention or elimination of fire hazards. Fire inspectors serve as fire marshal as that term is used in the Fire Prevention Code of the National Fire Protection Association.