“For this week’s forum, here are a few facts you need to know:

Wade Gardens, FL is a fictional city located on the Atlantic coast.  
You are the Fire Chief of Wade Gardens, FL .  

Background on Wade Gardens, FL:   Wade Gardens, FL  used to be a sleepy southern town near the beach with a population of less than 5,000.  People first started to move to Wade Gardens during the 1970s as an economical vacation spot.  As the infrastructure expanded and more residents began to call Wade Gardens home, the population during the 1980s grew to about 10,000.  At this time Wade Gardens still had a volunteer fire department, and did not have a prevention division nor did the department do any type of inspections or code enforcement. However, the City of Wade Gardens did adopt local fire codes as early as 1965.  It just did not do a good job of enforcing the codes that were on the books.  

During this 1990s the economy was good and the word got out about Wade Gardens .  The population exploded to over 35,000 by the year 2000.  In 2001 the Wade Gardens Volunteer Fire Department changed to a career department with 35 firefighters and a prevention division.  The prevention division began aggressively doing preplans, code enforcement and inspections on a large number of commercial structures that had been built during the 1990s, since theses inspections had never been done previously.

In 2003, a routine inspection of The Sea Pines Apartment Complex uncovered that the facility did not have any type of fire alarm system.  The Wade Gardens Fire Department cited The Sea Pines Apartments for the lack of a fire alarm system, and instituted a fine of $250 per day until the facility was upgraded to include a fire alarm system including central station monitoring.The fire alarm system should have been installed when the facility was originally built according to the adopted code requirements.  However, the city did not catch this omission for a number of years.  
Discuss how you, as the Fire Chief, would handle the situation at the Sea Pines Apartments regarding the fire alarm system.  Assume the owner of the Sea Pines Apartments does not want to comply because of the cost of installing and maintaining the fire alarm system.

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#1

With Wade Garden starting out so small you think that they would have brought in an outside town to do the inspections to make sure the homes were up too fire code. It shouldn’t take a town growing to over 35,000 to get a fire department in there to know what was going on. When a home is built it has to be inspected. So, this makes you wonder if home were being built without the proper inspections being done. I know they were different back then but still the safety of people we’re at hand. With the Sea Pines Apartment Complex not wanting to put the new fire system in they are going to be paying a $250 dollar fine a day until they get it installed. They would save money by putting it in rather than not. They need to think about the safety of the people that live in the complex. As a Fire Chief I feel a deadline should be meant before people would have leave the building because it would become a liability issue for the owner and the fire chief because they knew what was going on and if something was too happen they would be at fault it seems. Do you think that people would care that the building wasn’t up too code? Too me it would make me as a resident want to look further into the building to make sure the rest was up to code to be living in it. If they don’t have fire code good, they may not have the building code up too standards. To have the alarm systems it would be cheaper than paying the fines. You would be paying more in fines than in having the system that would protect everyone. As a chief you can’t allow someone to put others at risk.

#2

In regards to Sea Pines Apartment Complex, with a thorough investigation of what standards the building should have been built to, it is the recommendation of Wade Gardens fire department to levy a fine of $250 a day until the building is up to code.  Seventy nine percent of fire fatalities happen within the family dwelling and apartment complexes are the number two type of family dwelling that these happen in.  Though it is also understood that this can be a lengthy and expensive process it is in the best interest of the building owner and its occupants to be protected and covered with an internal fire alarm system.  This system shall be designed to not only notify the occupants of where the fire started but also the remaining occupants of the complex itself. Furthermore, the alarm system should be tied into the central dispatch system for Wade Gardens in order to have around the clock coverage. The Fire department agrees to work with the Sea Pines Apartment Complex management to ensure knowledge of the standards are known and to review any plans of correcting the issue to prevent any further discrepancies with the apartment complex. National Fire Protection Association 72-National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code will be the main focus on what is expected in order to bring the building up to code.  This code identifies and explains what signaling devices are required and where, as well as where not to have them install in order to limit the amount of false responses. Lastly the $250 levy may be waived if the building has no occupants dwelling inside until the renovations are completed. 
ReferencesNational Fire Protection Association. (2109). National Fire Protection Association 72 National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code. Quincy.

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