The Office of the Fire Marshal

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The Office of the Fire Marshal (OFM) is charged with the following actions:
 
Fire Investigations
Fire Code Enforcement, Inspections, and Plan Review
Fire Prevention and Education
Fire Department Public Information Issuance
 
OFM personnel conduct systematic and thorough investigations of all incidents relating to fire origin and cause. The OFM assists with and makes recommendations to the City of Reading Police Department and Berks County law enforcement agencies in all aspects associated with fire/arson investigation occurring within the City of Reading. 
 
The OFM enforces the provisions of the City of Reading Fire Prevention Code, applicable aspects of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Uniform Construction Code (UCC), and assists as needed with code enforcement as a whole within the City of Reading. Personnel inspect existing properties/locations for compliance; work closely with the Building-Trades Division assisting in project development and site meetings, plan review and inspection of new construction projects. 
 
The OFM provides inspection and oversight for all existing building fire code inspections, fire code permit issuance, and special event permit assistance. Personnel conduct annual inspections based upon daily scheduling and daily complaints. Both functions are designed to ensure proper operation and code compliance for various occupancies and critical fire-life safety protection systems.  The OFM strives to reduce fire risk through abatement of common fire prevention code violations 
 
The OFM pursues comprehensive and proactive fire and life safety education through a variety of methods focusing on a ‘youngest to oldest’ approach. OFM personnel schedule, assist, and conduct various types of fire prevention education and community outreach programs throughout the community. Additionally, OFM personnel can be available to speak to all varieties of groups and organizations. 
 
OFM personnel are generally the point of contact for media outlets relative to fire situations particularly incidents which are large in scale, involve extended fire department activities, or that involve serious injuries and/or death.  
 
 
 
SMOKE DETECTOR GIVE-A-WAY AND INSTALLATION PROGRAM
 
The Department of Fire and Rescue Services - Office of the Fire Marshal strives to provide a FREE smoke detector give-a-way and installation program for homeowners in the City of Reading. The program is geared to home owners rather than rentals as all rental properties require smoke detection to be provided by the building owner. The program focuses on the following criteria:
 
  • Ownership and verification of home
  • Mutually scheduled time to meet fire personnel at home
  • Completion of Hold Harmless document by owner (allows fire department personnel to enter dwelling and install devices, and owner signature attests that he/she will permanently install devices to manufacturers recommendations)
  • Full access throughout home as smoke detectors are placed inside and outside of every bedroom and on all levels of the home
 
Requests for Smoke Detector can be made by calling the OFM at 610-655-6080
 
If you rent and have no smoke detectors in your unit/building, please call the Property Maintenance Division to register a code complaint at 610-655-6278.
 
The following websites provide additional information regarding fire and life safety compliance, best practices, tips, and techniques on how to stay safe and prevent fires:
 
United States Fire Administration
 
Consumer Products Safety Commission
 
National Fire Protection Association
 
Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition
 
Underwriters Laboratories
 
National Institute of Standards and Technology
 
International Code Council
 
Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry
 
The Burn Foundation
 
National Safety Council
 
Centers for Disease Control
 
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