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City of Torrance
Class Code: 3501
Class Designation: Civil Service

April 2005

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


Senior Fire Prevention Officer


Under direction, performs complex inspection, plan checking, and testing of hazardous processes and fire protection and extinguishing systems to insure compliance with applicable codes, ordinances, and standards; and performs other duties as assigned.

Distinguishing Characteristics

The Senior Fire Prevention Officer is the advanced journey/senior level in the series and performs the most complex tasks and possesses a significant level of specialized, technical and functional expertise. 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 Assistant Fire Marshal and may provide technical supervision which includes assigning, coordinating, training and reviewing the work of Fire Prevention Officers.

Examples of Duties

The following duties represent the principal job duties; however, they are not all inclusive
  • Reviews highly complex and technical high-rise, commercial, industrial and manufacturing process plans to verify proper fire protection systems, exists and code compliances.
  • Consults with architects, builders and developers regarding methods, materials, City specifications and problem areas.
  • Conducts fire inspections of the more complex hazardous occupancies such as oil refineries and chemical facilities.
  • 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.
  • Conducts plan reviews for underground storage tank systems, periodic inspections and testing of underground storage tank systems.
  • Assists in training of subordinate personnel and fire company personnel on fire prevention matters.
  • Coordinates Fire Department plan check reviews with other City Departments and performs fire plan checks for new development occurring within the City to ensure complete and thorough plan review.
  • 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.
  • Performs moderately complex mathematical calculations in the evaluation of fire sprinkler, fire alarms and other fire protection systems.
  • May perform inspections and coordinate other issues regarding NPDES (National Pollution Discharge Elimination System).
  • 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 Qualifications

    Knowledge of
  • Fire prevention principles and procedures.
  • Fire investigation principles and procedures.
  • Fire protection, alarm and water supply systems, especially for high-rise, commercial and industrial buildings.
  • Fire sprinkler designs, plans and hydraulic calculations.
  • Principles and practices of plan review.
  • 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, Fire Code, State Administrative Code, and National Fire Code.
  • Standard fire protection and prevention theory, techniques, and practices relative to various types to occupancies.
  • Mechanical principle.
  • 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.
  • Interpret basic architectural, mechanical, plumbing, and electrical plans and drawings.
  • Learn, interpret, explain and enforce applicable codes, regulations, ordinances and laws.
  • Analyze and compile technical information on fire protection and safety code violations.
  • Read, understand and interpret building construction plans and specifications, and applicable codes, regulations and laws.
  • 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 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 Certificates

    A valid California Class C Drivers' License.

    Possession of or ability to obtain Certified Underground Storage Tank Inspector within one year of date of hire.

    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:

    Four years of progressively responsible experience in plan review and inspection of buildings and systems for compliance with fire safety standards, preferably in a county or municipal environment; and an Associate of Arts/Science degree in Fire Prevention, Fire Science or a related field.

    A Bachelor's degree in a related field may be substituted for one (1) year of experience. A Masters degree may be substituted for two (2) years experience.

    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.