Fire and Life Safety

Reducing Fire Injuries

The Fire and Life Safety Division creates methods to reduce the number of personal injuries and fires and has responsibilities regarding building inspections (review construction and fire protection system plans), fire investigations, and community and educational safety programs.

Plans Review

As part of the construction process, plans and permits submissions include fire components, and are required for final acceptance testing of fire protection systems (alarms, sprinklers, special hazard protection, etc.) and on-site inspections.

Fire Comprehensive Review

Comprehensive review occurs for all plans for new construction, renovation of commercial buildings and renovation of multi-family residential buildings. Review includes:

  • Compliance with the fire protection/life safety provisions of the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code and local ordinances
  • Fire alarm system plans
  • Fire suppression system plans
  • Special hazard fire suppression system plans (such as range/hood fire suppression systems)

Fire Marshal

The Fire Marshal enforces state and county fire codes; investigate fires, explosions, and hazardous materials releases; and regulates blasting and explosive storage, fireworks, open burning and propane tank exchange.

Fire Code Inspections

The goal of any state and county fire code is the prevention of fires and the loss of life. It is the responsibility of the Fire Marshal's Office to ensure public buildings and other places of assembly comply with these codes. Inspection priorities include daycare facilities, group homes, licensed educational facilities, movie theaters. nightclubs, public and private schools, and restaurants. Special priorities are identified each year based on a target priority identified either in or outside of the county. For more information or to report suspected fire code violations, contact the Fire and Life Safety.

Community and Educational Programs

Fire and Life Safety community and educational programs are outreach efforts that share knowledge of known causes of fire to reduce the number of, and severity of, fires and injuries. Each program focuses on a set of objectives that is relevant to the target age group, from children to older adults.

Chesterfield File of Life

The Chesterfield File of Life program is a communitywide medical information program developed by Chesterfield Triad that provides residents a document to complete with their medical information including current prescriptions, medical history, allergies, etc. The document gives first responders access to pertinent medical information to immediately begin the best possible treatment, notify loved ones and pass this vital data on to awaiting physicians at the emergency department. The File of Life (PDF) document is a fillable form and can be downloaded, printed and updated as needed.

This information is often kept on refrigerators as a quick reference for emergency medical staff. Free stickers and magnets for the information are available at the Community Engagement and Resources office located on the first floor of the Community Development Building.

Fire Safety Tips

Practicing fire safety in your everyday lives can help to avoid costly fire mistakes. View the U.S. Fire Administration's (USFA) fire safety checklist (PDF).

Carbon Monoxide Alarm Safety

Often called the invisible killer, carbon monoxide (CO) is an invisible, odorless, colorless gas created when fuels (such as gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, propane, oil and methane) burn incompletely. In the home, heating and cooking equipment that burn fuel can be sources of carbon monoxide. 

Carbon monoxide alarms should be installed in a central location outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home and in other locations where required by applicable laws, codes or standards. For the best protection, interconnect all CO alarms throughout the home. That way, when one sounds, they all sound.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), a person can be poisoned by a small amount of CO over a longer period of time or by a large amount of CO over a shorter amount of time. Learn more about carbon monoxide alarm safety.