COVID-19 OPERATIONAL DIRECTIVE – FIRE PREVENTION- UPDATED APRIL 30, 2020
Your health is our number one priority during this National Emergency related to the global pandemic COVID-19 outbreak. With the most recent updates from the CDC, Marin County Health Department and the Marin County Order to Shelter in Place, the following changes to our daily work plan shall go into effect starting Monday May 4th, 2020 at 08:00 and remain in place until a notice of cancelation has been issued.
In an effort to protect the general public and the employees of all Marin County Fire Agencies, and reflective of the Shelter in Place Order (SIP) issued April 29, 2020 by the Health Officer of the County of Marin, requests for all non-essential fire inspections were previously suspended.
AS OF MAY 4TH 2020, THE TERM “SUSPENSION” WILL BE CHANGED TO “MODIFIED”
The intent of this MODIFICATION is to respect the county order to shelter in place, limit personal contact and exposure, and to slow the spread of COVID-19 to the maximum extent possible.
The following fire inspections will be evaluated and scheduled on a case by case basis:
- Starting May 4, 2020, construction inspections including verification of project scope (close-in), fire protection systems inspections, vegetation management/defensible space, photovoltaic, generator, ESS/battery systems, and final fire construction inspections may be eligible for Inspection.
- Also eligible are investigation and/or inspection of reported hazardous conditions that impact fire protection systems or conditions that reflect a threat to life safety. Persons reporting a hazardous condition shall email the local fire agency with a request to investigate. The request shall include the reporting party’s name, address and phone number, and a brief narrative of the issue and photos or videos (when possible).
The following shall be REQUIRED prior to scheduling and receiving an inspection:
All projects shall meet the Project Safety Protocols outline in the revised Shelter In Place Order effective May 4, 2020. Please review the following appendices prior to scheduling your inspection as failure to comply may result in the cancelation of the inspection as determined by the Inspecting Authority.
Please call (415)380-1120, 72 hours in advance to request an inspection.
You are required to contact the Fire Agency if at any time, jobsite personnel or residents become COVID-19 symptomatic, test positive or are hospitalized.
All jobsite personnel or residents shall vacate the occupancy 30 minutes prior to the inspection.
Minimize interactions and maintain social distancing with fire inspectors, and others detail in Appendix B-1 (2:ax) or Appendix B-2 (2:f:vi).
All jobsite personnel shall use PPE per Appendix B-1 (2:j) and Appendix B-2 (2:c).
All doors and windows shall be opened, and all HVAC systems shut down.
Plans, permit documents (including job card) shall be laid out and available inside the building.
Under the County of Marin's Order, issued April 29, 2020, service providers that primarily provide outdoor services, such as landscaping and gardening services, and environmental site remediation services have been deemed essential services.
Marin County is near record dry for this time of year, which means fire season is upon us soon. Southern Marin Fire District and Mill Valley Fire Department will be performing defensible space inspections starting May 4, 2020. The following areas should be the primary focus to providing defensible space:
Cutting dry grasses and brush 10 feet from roads, driveways, and property lines, 30 feet from the home, and up to 150 feet for homes affected by steep slopes.
Trimming back branches that are smaller than three inches in diameter that are within 10 feet of the structure.
Clearing out dead debris, including buildup of leaves, needles, and tree droppings, from decks, roofs, exterior stairs and walkways, and gutters.
Removing dead vegetation from the property, including the buildup of dead debris and droppings from within shrubs, bushes, and trees.
Limbing up trees by cutting low hanging branches 10 feet from the ground and cutting branches from other trees and shrubs to create adequate spacing.
PLANNING AND PROJECTS:
Plan Reviews – All new plan reviews shall be electronic submittals only starting Monday March 16th, 2020 at 08:00. Interaction with the applicants regarding these projects shall be limited to telephone or by zoom room meetings. Limited person-to-person interaction will be granted on a case-by-case basis. For more information, please visit our plan submittal page.
Vegetation Management Program – During the effective time of this operational directive, all interactions with contractors and the public shall be limited. Projects shall continue as planned however, limited contact with contractors and the public shall include BSI precautions outlined in the CDC’s recommendations for social distancing and hand-to-hand contact. All community events shall be canceled or postponed until after this operational directive has been canceled. The use of zoom meetings is approved in the place of person-to-person meetings and should be utilized whenever possible during the effective period of this operational directive.
HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE POLICY CANCELLATIONS
Are you having this issue? There are a few options. One you may contact our prevention division and request a hazard assessment http://smfd.org/contact . We then will send out a crew or inspector and will conduct the hazard assessment / risk analysis of the property. If we believe the insurance company’s assessment is incorrect, we will write a letter to the insurance company.
We also recommend that residents affected by this issue file a complaint with the State Insurance Commissioner.
The State Insurance Commissioner (http://www.insurance.ca.gov) regulates the insurance industry in the State of California. Their site has resources to assist with cancellation http://www.insurance.ca.gov/…/Top10Tips_FindingResidentialI… Residents should file a complaint at this same address and it would be important for folks to do that so that the Commissioner can accurately gauge the scale of the problem.
Residential and Commercial Construction Projects
Wildfire Hazard Requirements