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City of Torrance
Class Code: 7108

Class Designation: Civil Service

May 2006 (Revised)

Representation Unit: Torrance Fire Fighters Association


Senior Fire Inspector


Under direction, investigates fires to determine causes and origins; performs fire prevention inspections of complex occupancies and hazardous processes for applicable codes, ordinances and standards; tests fire protection and extinguishing systems for proper design and operation; and performs other duties as assigned.

Distinguishing Characteristics

The Senior Fire Inspector performs the most complex tasks and possesses a significant level of specialized, technical and functional expertise.  Distinguished from the Senior Fire Prevention Officer in that the incumbent functions as a Peace Officer.  Incumbents exercise independent judgment in the performance of duties, with great latitude in determining work methods and assignment requirements.  Work may require the development of recommendations consistent with directives, policies and regulations.
Supervision Exercised/Received
Receives direction from the Fire Marshal or Assistant Fire Marshal and may provide technical supervision which includes assigning, coordinating, training and reviewing the work of the Senior Fire Prevention Officer, Fire Prevention Officers and support staff. 

Example of Essential Duties

The following duties represent the principal job duties; however, they are not all inclusive.
  • Conducts fire inspections of the more complex hazardous occupancies such as oil refineries and chemical facilities;
  • Assists District Attorney with arson prosecution as investigator and/or expert witness;
  • Conducts investigations as to the cause and origin of fires occurring in the City in compliance with City policy, coordinates with the Police Dept. to prepare evidence for prosecution;
  • Conducts site inspections and checks plans and specifications of the more complex hazardous operations such as petrochemical operations and electroplating processes, fire protection and extinguishing systems and related occupancies for compliance with fire codes and standards;
  • Inspects high-rise buildings, institutional occupancies such (hospitals and jails) and all buildings over 3 stories;
  • Issues notices of code violations;
  • Assists in training of subordinate personnel and fire company personnel on fire prevention matters;
  • Attends various Commission meetings to represent the Fire Department regarding compliance with various codes;
  • Compile and analyze data and information, prepares related reports and makes recommendations based on codes, standards and Fire Department policies;
  • Interprets a variety of codes for the public and makes recommendations for fire protection systems;
  • Assists in the evaluation of fire safety conditions and recommends changes to building and fire codes to remain current with use of new materials and methods of construction;
  • May perform inspections and coordinate other issues regarding NPDES (National Pollution Discharge Elimination System);
  • Maintains accurate and complete records of activities;
  • May participates in the investigation of local or mutual aid emergencies;
  • Participates in the planning of special events and makes recommendations to ensure compliance with applicable codes, regulations, ordinances and laws.
  • Examples of Other Duties

    The following duties represent duties that are generally performed by this position, but are not considered to be principal job duties:
  • Attends division and department meetings as required;
  • Receives and responds to public inquiries and complaints regarding inspections;
  • Serves on various committees as appropriate;
  • Perform related duties as required. 
  • Minimum Qualification Guidelines

    Knowledge of
  • Fire prevention principles and procedures;
  • Fire investigation principles and procedures;
  • Fire suppression and rescue techniques;
  • Laws governing arrests, evidence, and civil rights;
  • Fire protection, alarm and water supply systems, especially for high-rise, commercial and industrial buildings;
  • Characteristics of a variety of chemicals and flammable, explosive and similar materials;
  • Principles and techniques of structure and building inspection;
  • Safety codes related to fire prevention including but not limited to Uniform Fire Code, Uniform Building Code, State Administrative Code, National Fire Code, International Fire Code, and International Building Code;
  • Standard fire protection and prevention theory, techniques, and practices relative to various types to occupancies;
  • Mechanical principles;
  • Principles of combustion;
  • Building materials and construction practices;
  • City codes and ordinances, rules and regulations affecting inspection operations;
  • General City operations;
  • English grammar and methods of report writing and data analysis.
  • Ability to
  • Detect and determine proper corrective action for fire hazards found at various buildings and installations;
  • Inspect and determine corrective action for deficiencies in a variety of fixed fire protection systems;
  • Learn, interpret, explain and enforce applicable codes, regulations, ordinances and laws;
  • Analyze and compile technical information on fire protection and safety code violations;
  • Perform moderately complex mathematical computations quickly and accurately;
  • Analyze data, recognize problems and make decisions;
  • Write complete and accurate inspection reports;
  • Positively influence community residents and business people toward a desired course of action;
  • Quickly assess a situation, make decisions and take appropriate action under stressful and emergency conditions;
  • Handle calls, questions and complaints in an appropriate manner;
  • Understand and carry out oral and written directions;
  • Communicate effectively orally and in writing;
  • Deal tactfully and effectively with peers, other City employees, other City departments, public officials, contractors, outside agencies and the public;
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with City employees, other City departments, public officials, contractors, outside agencies and the public;
  • Learn and utilize new skills and information to improve job performance and efficiency.
  • Licenses And Certifications

    A valid California Class C Drivers' License.
    Possession of or ability to obtain P.C. 832 Peace Officer's Standards and Training (P.O.S.T.) Arrest and Firearms Course certificate class within a year of appointment.

    Education and Experiece

    Any combination of education and experience that provides the knowledge and skills required is qualifying. A typical way to obtain the knowledge and skills would be:
    Four years of experience on the Torrance Fire Department as a Firefighter and/or Fire Engineer. Possession of an Associate of Arts/Science degree in Fire Science or an Associate of Arts/Science degree in a related field plus 20 units of Fire Science may be substituted for one year of the required experience.  Possession of a Bachelor's degree in another field plus 40 units of Fire Science may be substituted for two years of the required experience.

    Special Requirements

    Functions as a Peace Officer per California Penal Code 830.37
    Must maintain quarterly firearms qualification.
    Requires the ability to walk, stand, stoop, crawl, climb ladders, and work at heights above 10 feet when performing investigations or field inspections.  Tasks require color and visual perception and discrimination, as well as oral communications ability.  May be required to work in excessive heat/cold; inclement weather; dirt/dust; grease/oil; pesticides, chemicals and solvents/toxic agents; live electricity; high frequency noise; and smoke, fumes and gas.
    Must be available to respond emergency call outs during and after normal work hours.