Reedy Creek Fire Rescue Fire Prevention
The EPCOT building codes insured that when construction began in 1971 many of the life and building safety problems inherited by poor construction practices common in most areas of the country would be avoided. Automatic sprinkler protection systems were installed in all significant structures within the District. Fire and smoke detection systems were common in most buildings. Every control valve and switch in these systems was, and continues to be monitored by a central computerized control system in redundant locations with RCES being one of these monitoring points. The fire service community marveled at the commitment demonstrated by the District and the landowner in demanding a fire safe community. This commitment and partnership has led to an unmatched fire loss record.
The Fire Prevention Section continues to administer and enforce the State of Florida’s Uniform Fire Safety Rules and Standards, certain National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standards and the EPCOT Fire Prevention Code. The specific duties, size and functions of the Section have continually changed to meet the increasing safety needs of the public and the District. The primary goal of the Section, however, has remained unchanged. The preservation of life and property through proactive administration and enforcement of applicable codes and standards continues to be the primary mission of the department.
Personnel assigned to the Fire Prevention Section provide a myriad of services, all of which are designed to promote life safety, as well as freedom from the effects of fire and other hazards. The wide range of services include a biannual review and update of the EPCOT Fire Prevention Code; annual fire inspections of over 1,500 structures; weekly inspections of over 450 commercial kitchens; issuance of permits for controlled burns, inspections of construction sites; origin and cause investigations and documentation; internal affairs investigations; and fire safety inspection for ‘hot work’ (welding, spark-producing cutting, etc.).
Fire Prevention personnel also participate in regular inspection and testing of emergency power systems, fire alarms panels, fire detection devices, commercial kitchen fire protection systems and over 1,500 automatic fire sprinkler systems.
The Fire Prevention Section also provides life and safety expertise in the area of conventions and pyrotechnics. Over 500,000 fireworks shells are fired annually within the boundaries of the District with the Section providing permitting and inspection for every pyrotechnic display. Indoor pyrotechnic displays, primarily in conjunction with meetings and conventions, have brought a unique set of challenges to the District. Such displays are closely monitored by section personnel and the overall convention plan for seating, exhibit booth placement, and accessibility to emergency exits are reviewed in detail and authorized by Fire Prevention personnel.
The Fire Prevention Section consists of seventeen personnel. The Section is under the direction of the Departments Fire Marshal and reports directly to the Fire Chief. The Fire Chief is designated Fire Official by Florida Statute.
The Section prides itself in its ability to build partnerships with the community it serves to effectively promote life and fire safety. Personnel within the Fire Prevention Section team effectively with the Emergency Services’ Operations Section, the District’s Departments of Building and Safety, Environmental Services, and Planning and Engineering to provide efficient support to accommodate the safety efforts of the District. They also assist landowners, facility managers and operators, general and subcontractors, insurance underwriters, federal, state and local governmental agencies, and the public to meet their needs and maximize public safety throughout the District.