2010 Open House
Fire Prevention and Investigation Bureau
The Fire Prevention Bureau is currently staffed by two (2) members that perform a wide variety of duties. Our main focus is fire safety throughout our city. To achieve this, we educate and apply fire codes.
We provide fire and life-safety instruction for all ages. The majority of our public education programs consist of the following:
- Fire Prevention Week activities. We educate over 800 second grade students throughout Helena and the surrounding community each year about being fire safe and what actions to take when a fire occurs. We reinforce the initial instruction through follow-up visits and quarterly student fire safety newspapers. An open house is also held each October in which all ages are invited to learn about fire safety and fire department operations.
- Hotel/Motel Safety Classes. This instruction is provided to teach employees and management how to prevent fires and the necessary actions to take if a fire occurs. This may include safety inspections and practices, fire suppression and detection system familiarization, and evacuation planning.
- Food Service Safety Classes. Instruction is given to anyone concerned with kitchen fire safety. It is most commonly given to people who work in large kitchens such as at restaurants and those who cater for large functions. Students are instructed how to prevent and control kitchen and cooking related fires.
- Fire Extinguisher Classes. This instruction is given to a wide variety of companies, businesses, and social groups. Instruction includes identifying the various types of fires, when to combat fires, how to safely use extinguishers, and various fire and life-safety techniques and practices. Participants may elect to demonstrate their knowledge by putting out a small gasoline fire with an extinguisher.
The Helena Fire Department currently enforces the 2009 Edition of the International Fire Code. We also have fire related ordinances in Title 3, Chapter 9, of the Helena City Code. These codes are applied during construction plan reviews and inspections of existing buildings.
- Plan Review. We review construction plans for such items as: Emergency access; Water supplies and fire hydrants; Fire detection and suppression systems; and other special uses, processes, equipment, and subjects, which may be hazardous to life and property.
- Inspections. Inspections are conducted in all existing public and commercial properties within the City of Helena to keep our visitors and citizens safe. When safety issues are discovered, we work with the building owners or managers to correct the issues in a timely manner.
We investigate the origin, cause, and circumstances, of many fires. In arson related cases, we may also include such agencies as the Police Department, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, County Attorneys Office, State Fire Marshal's Offices, and other criminal justice agencies.
The Fire Prevention Bureau also handles a wide variety of complaints from concerned citizens, issues permits for hazardous activities, and administers a key lock box system throughout the community that enables our fire crews to enter buildings in an efficient manner.
We enjoy our chosen profession and are dedicated to the prevention of fires. If we can ever provide our services to you, please don't hesitate to call.