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City of Torrance
Class Code: 3500

Class Designation: Civil Service

January 2010 (Revised) 

Representation Unit: Engineers Assoc. &
Torrance Fiscal Employees Assoc.



Fire Prevention Specialist


Under direction, conducts inspections, plan review, and testing of hazardous processes and fire protection and extinguishing systems to insure compliance with applicable codes, ordinances, and standards; conducts training sessions for the public in fire prevention; ensures compliance with the City's hazardous materials/waste management, storage tanks, and permits program; and performs other duties in assigned area.

Distinguishing Characteristics

Incumbents at the journey level class perform a full range of complex tasks and work within a framework of established procedures with only occasional instruction or assistance.  Work is reviewed upon completion and for overall results.  Interpretation of general administrative or operational policies is necessary.
Supervision Exercised/Received
Receives direction from the Assistant Fire Marshal or other higher level Fire Department staff.

Examples Of Essential Duties

The following duties represent the principal job duties; however, they are not all inclusive.
  • Conducts inspections and tests of extinguishing systems, and commercial and industrial processes which may involve fire hazards in specified occupancies to insure the level of fire protection is in compliance with applicable codes and standards;
  • Issues notices of violations of applicable codes including the issuance of citations for violations of the Municipal Code, Fire Code, Health & Safety Code, Building Code and/or the California Penal Code;
  • Interprets various codes, ordinances, and standards for the public and makes recommendations for fire protection systems;
  • Checks plans and specifications on special hazards operations, fire protection and extinguishing systems, and occupancies under jurisdiction for compliance with Fire Codes and standards;
  • Assists fire safety personnel with code interpretation and fire prevention inspections;
  • Investigates complaints of Fire Code violations and hazards; enforces codes to ensure abatement of identified violations and hazards;
  • May issue citations or notices of violations of applicable codes;
  • Assists in developing and maintaining records, information and statistical data pertinent to Fire Prevention Division activities;
  • Provides general information regarding department policies, procedures and regulations, including responding appropriately to complaints, requests for information and requests for service;
  • Coordinates and integrates program services and activities with other agencies and City departments;
  • Attends and/or participates in meetings and conferences; and serves as a liaison between the City, other agencies and the public;
  • Maintains records and databases; prepares correspondence, reports and other public information material.
  • In addition to the duties listed above, incumbents assigned to the specific areas listed below perform the following:
    National Pollution Discharge Elimination System Inspector (NPDES)
  • Conducts NPDES facility inspections for regulatory compliance including gas stations, restaurants and commercial/industrial facilities;
  • Coordinates the clean up of NPDES violations with all applicable state, county and local resources as needed;
  • Maintain and update databases and record violations for follow up inspections.
  • Public Education
  • Participates in public education and outreach projects within the community; and makes presentations to community groups;
  • Assists and participates in educating the public via schools and other outreach mediums regarding a variety of fire safety, fire prevention education, disaster preparedness and other related educational programs and services;
  • May also provide information to media during major or significant events.
  • Hazardous Materials
  • Maintains and coordinates records including manifests, annual permits, required testing and disposal to insure compliance of hazardous materials/waste management and storage tanks with various agencies as related to City facilities;
  • Maintains and coordinates permitting for the following: storage tanks, boilers, pressure vessels, and generators; notification and coordination for replacement or retrofitting of equipment in these areas due to changing regulations as related to City facilities.
  • 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;
  • Serves on various committees as appropriate;
  • Distributes notices, flyers, etc. as assigned;
  • Responds to emergency incidents to provide assistance, as directed by supervisory personnel;
  • Participates in fire safety related special projects as needed;
  • Perform related duties as required.
  • Qualification Guidelines

    The following duties represent duties that are generally performed by this position, but are not considered to be principal job duties: 

    Knowledge of
  • Applicable Federal, State and local laws, codes and ordinances pertaining to fire safety and enforcement including but not limited to California Health and Safety Code, California Fire Code, California Building Code, State Administrative Code, and NFPA standards and codes;
  • Standard fire protection and prevention theory, techniques, and practices;
  • Fire prevention principles and procedures;
  • Principles of combustion;
  • Basic building materials and construction practices;
  • City codes and ordinances, rules and regulations affecting Departmental operations;
  • Fire sprinkler designs, plans and hydraulic calculations;
  • Characteristics of a variety of chemicals and flammable, explosive and similar materials;
  • Principles and techniques of structure and building inspection;
  • English grammar and methods of report writing and data analysis;
  • General City operations;
  • Principles and techniques used in the development and implementation of safety education programs;
  • Occupational hazards and standard safety practices necessary in the area of fire inspection;
  • Public relations related to obtaining cooperation and compliance with fire codes and laws;
  • Techniques for providing a high level of customer service by effectively dealing with the public, vendors, contractors and City staff.
  • In addition to the above, incumbents assigned to the specific areas listed below are also expected to have knowledge of the following:
    National Pollution Discharge Elimination System Inspector (NPDES)
  • Federal, State and local laws, codes and ordinances pertaining or related to National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), and Clean Water Act.
  • 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;
  • Inspect and determine corrective action for regulatory compliance;
  • Interpret basic architectural, mechanical, plumbing, and electrical plans and drawings;
  • Read, understand and interpret construction plans, specifications and maps;
  • Learn, interpret, explain and enforce applicable codes, regulations, ordinances and laws;
  • Analyze and compile technical information on fire protection and safety code violations;
  • Write complete and accurate inspection reports;
  • Handle calls, questions and complaints in an appropriate manner;
  • Respond to complaints or inquiries from citizens, staff and outside organizations;
  • Understand and carry out oral and written directions;
  • Communicate effectively orally and in writing;
  • Deal tactfully and effectively with the public;
  • Represent the department and the City effectively in meetings with other departments, the public, community organizations and individuals;
  • 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;
  • Operate office equipment including computer software and hardware (currently in use by the City);
  • Prepare clear, effective and accurate reports, correspondence and other written materials;
  • Make sound, independent decision within established policy and procedural guidelines. 
  • Licenses and Certifications

  • Valid California Class C Drivers' License
  • Possession of, or ability to obtain a California PC832 certificate 
  • Hazardous Materials
    Possess and maintain Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response Standard (HAZWOPER) certificate.

    Education and Experience

    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:
    Equivalent to the completion of high school supplemented by college-level coursework and/or specialized training in fire science; and two years of progressively responsible experience in fire prevention including conducting inspections, plan checking, and testing of hazardous processes and fire protection and extinguishing systems.
    Special Requirements 
    Requires the ability to walk, stand, stoop, crawl, climb ladders, and work at heights above 10 feet when performing 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.

    Career Ladder Information

    Experience gained in this classification may serve to meet the minimum requirements to Senior Fire Prevention Officer (pending title change to Senior Fire Prevention Specialist) or other positions for which the employee meets the minimum requirements.