The Margate Fire Prevention Bureau provides the following programs and services:
Fire Safety Inspections
Building Plan Review
Juvenile Fire Setter Prevention and Intervention Program
Hazardous Material Management and Regulation
Development Review Committee
Public Information, Education, and Relations
Project Safe Place and Safe Haven
Fire safety inspections are conducted on all commercial and multi-residential structures within the City limits annually. Inspectors, certified by both Broward County and the State, receive their authority through state statute which adopts the N.F.P.A. 101 Life Safety Code, N.F.P.A 1 Fire Prevention Code, and the Florida Building Code.
A fire safety inspection is also required as part of the City of Margate's occupational licensing process. All life-safety and fire code requirements must be inspected and approved prior to the issuance of an occupational license. Single family homes are inspected at the resident's request.
All building plans submitted to the Build Department are subject to review and approval by the Fire Department's Plans Examiner. Plans for construction and renovation are checked for compliance with adopted codes and ordinances.
All fires within the City of Margate are investigated for cause and origin. Investigations are conducted using the 1992 edition of N.F.P.A. 921 Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigation. In cases involving arson, the fire investigator works closely with law enforcement which may include the Margate Police Department, State Fire Marshal's Office, or the ATF.
Located at Firefighter's Park, Safety Town is a comprehensive educational experience that provides safety education to local Kindergartners. Elementary schools in the area bus 2-3 classes per day to the facility where they are met by representatives of the fire, police, and parks departments. The children rotate through four stations and are taught fire safety, water safety, bicycle safety, Stranger/Danger, and traffic safety. The highlight of the experience is a chance to ride tricycles around a small village complete with buildings, traffic lights, traffic signs, and a railroad crossing.
Juveniles who have a curiosity of, or who have started a fire, initiated a bomb threat, or called in a false alarm are referred to the Broward County Juvenile Fire Setter Prevention and Intervention Program (JFPIP). The program provides specialized education to children ages 2-17 in an effort to reduce death, injury, and property loss caused by juvenile fire setters. The program begins with an assessment of the family by a counselor. The family then attends an intervention workshop where everyone receives fire safety education.
The Fire Prevention Bureau utilizes a hazardous material permit program in conjunction with its fire safety inspection process. An application kit is completed by the business owner that includes an inventory of hazardous materials, Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), and a sketch of their locations within the building. The application is reviewed before a permit is issued. The permit may require that the business post NFPA 704 placards on the building. Information from the permit can also be retrieved by Fire Dispatch to alert responding units of the presence of hazardous materials.
The Development Review Committee reviews, and recommends the approval or denial of new projects with the city to the City Commission. Its members include: the Fire Marshal, City Engineer, Chief Building Official, City Planner, Utility Department and Police Department representatives.
The responsibility of the Public Information Officer (PIO) is to gather information regarding an incident and disseminate it to the media and the general public.
Public education focuses on fire prevention, injury prevention, water safety, and employee fire safety training. These activities are conducted throughout the year and may be scheduled by contacting the administrative office. During the month of October, local schools and daycares are visited by fire and rescue units to promote Fire Prevention Month.
Santa Claus ends the year by touring Margate on a fire engine decorated with
Christmas lights. For three days he visits different neighborhoods in the
city to promote fire safety and hand out candy canes.
Project Safe Place is an innovative program designed to assist youth and families in crisis situations. The program works by creating a network of "Safe Places" that display the Safe Place logo on their premises. Any youth in trouble knows that he or she can enter a location bearing this sign and request help. A Firefighter will provide the youth with a secure place to wait while the local youth shelter is contacted. The shelter then dispatches a volunteer to the Safe Place site to offer assistance and to provide transportation to the shelter if necessary.
Project Safe Haven is the result of legislation passed in July of 2000 that allows a mother to leave her newborn child at a fire station, EMS station, or Emergency Room without fear of prosecution. The child can be up to 3 days old and must be unharmed or hurt. The child will be evaluated and transported to the hospital where a licensed child-placing agency provided by the State of Florida will place the child with parents waiting to adopt a child.
All of Margate's Fire Stations are designated as Safe Place and Safe Haven locations.
©2006 Margate Fire Department