Navigate Up
Planning and Development
Menu +

Fire Marshal

Published on: 7/7/2015 3:06 PM
Print


The Santa Clara County Fire Marshal's Office works to protect lives, property and the environment through education, plan review, inspection, and code enforcement in the community. Although the Santa Clara County Fire Department (also known as the Santa Clara County Central Fire Protection District) is not an actual division of the County of Santa Clara, it is tied closely to the Board of Supervisors, which serves as its Board of Commissioners. In 1987, the County entered into a contract with the Santa Clara County Fire Department for the administration of the County Fire Marshal’s Office. The County Code assigned the title of “County Fire Marshal” to the Chief of the Fire Department, and the Fire Department provides staff to cover the duties performed by the Office.

Is Santa Clara County Fire Marshal your local fire protection?
Verify your local Fire Agency jurisdiction relative to private, commercial or residential construction.

Contact the County Facilities Branch Office at Charcot for Fire Marshal concerns relative to facilities owned, leased, or operated by the County of Santa Clara.

The Authority of the County Fire Marshal
The County Fire Marshal’s Office derives its authority from Division A-33, Chapter IV, Article 1, Section A33-40 through A33-59 of the Santa Clara County Code, and from the California Health and Safety Code.

Responsibilities
The County Fire Marshal’s Office is responsible for fire prevention activities in most unincorporated areas of Santa Clara County, however there are a few areas where our responsibilities are shared and/or deferred to other agencies for various reasons. Since it is often difficult to determine exactly which agency you should be contacting for your project or issue, we have tried to simplify the process by including helpful information and links to the other agencies you might need. If you cannot determine who you should be in contact with, please feel free to contact the office at (408) 299-5762, and the staff will assist you.

Although the Santa Clara County Fire Department (also known as the Santa Clara County Central Fire Protection District) is not an actual division of the County of Santa Clara, it is tied closely to the Board of Supervisors, which serves as its Board of Commissioners. In 1987, the County entered into a contract with the Santa Clara County Fire Department for the administration of the County Fire Marshal’s Office. The County Code assigned the title of “County Fire Marshal” to the Chief of the Fire Department, and the Fire Department provides staff to cover the duties performed by the Office.

 


 

Areas of Responsibility & Duties
of the
County Facilities Fire Marshal

 

Responsibilities
The County Facilities branch of the Santa Clara County Fire Marshal's Office is located at the County Center at Charcot, 2310 North First Street, San Jose. This office is responsible for plan review and inspection of all Santa Clara County construction projects, in addition to fire safety inspections of all existing county owned and leased facilities. Jurisdiction for facilities in which the county leases only a portion of the location is shared with that location's local fire department.

Submittal Process
All plan review submittals for Capital Programs are submitted through the Project Manager assigned to the project and in general, all issues concerning each project are addressed through the project manager. For all County projects not handled by Capital Programs, submittals should be routed to the County Facilities Fire Marshal's Office through the project’s Project Manager from the requesting department. County departments are billed directly for plan review services, therefore no fees are required when plans are submitted to this office.

Request Process for Special Events At A County Facility
Location of Event: 70 W. Hedding Street, San Jose

Special Events which occur at the County Government Center at 70 W. Hedding Street are administered by the Office of the County Executive or the Clerk of the Board, depending on the room or space. The Fire Marshal approves Special Events Permits based on the description of the event and the proposed layout. Charges may apply, and an inspection may be required. Applications are obtained from the County Executive’s Office or the Clerk of the Board.

Location of Event: At a Santa Clara County Park

Special Events at all County Parks are administered by the Parks Department. The Parks Department approves Special Event Permits based on the description of the event and the proposed layout. Charges may apply, and an inspection may be required. Applications for Special Events at the parks can be obtained on the County Parks website or by contacting the County Parks Coordinator at (408) 355-2201.

County Facilities Office at Charcot
2310 N. 1st Street, 2nd Floor, Ste. 200
San Jose CA 95131-1011
MAP

 


 

Duties of the Santa Clara County Fire Marshal's Office:

Land Development:

  • Offer consultations to the public at pre-application meetings for proposed Land Development permits.
  • Review Environmental Impact Reports to determine findings regarding fire hazards and other emergencies.
  • Review submitted plans for Use Permits/Renewals, Architectural Site Approval & Building Site Approval, agricultural exempt structures, etc. upon referral from the County Planning Department, and set conditions to be met by the project. Reviews are coordinated with local responding jurisdictions when appropriate.
  • Review grading permits upon referral from Land Development Engineering.
  • Review plans for Entertainment Permits (Fairs/Festivals, Bingo, etc.).
  • Review Building Permit plans upon submittal (final approval prior to issuance of a when building permit).
  • Review plans and inspect Residential Water Systems for residences without a water purveyor.

Construction:

  • Review Building Permit plan submittals for fire and life-safety code compliance.
  • Review Fire Marshal Permit plan submittals (e.g.: Fire Alarm, Sprinklers and other suppression systems, hydrant systems, hazardous materials, fuel tanks, generators, propane tanks, process piping, etc.).
  • Conduct inspections for compliance with code and approved plans for both Building Permit and Fire Marshal Permit submittals.

Special Events – Conduct plan review, issue permits and conduct inspections for:

  • Tents & Canopies
  • Special Events (fairs, festivals, haunted houses, etc.)
  • Fireworks & Special Effects

Periodic Fire Safety Inspections of Existing Structures in/at:

  • County owned and leased facilities
  • Stanford University Campus
  • Multi-family dwellings, private & public schools (grades K-12), detention facilities & high rise occupancies throughout the unincorporated areas of the County, as required by the California Health & Safety Code.

Other Responsibilities:

  • Review plans for public schools for fire department access & fire protection water supply upon request from the Department of the State Architect
  • Inspect Licensed Facility Fire Clearance requested by the California Departments of Social Services, Health Services, Alcohol and Drug Programs, and Santa Clara County Social Services (Foster Care).
  • Inspect organized Camp Annual Fire Clearance upon request.
  • Fire Hazard Complaint Investigation and Code Enforcement.
  • Review plans for public schools for fire department access & fire protection water supply upon request from the Department of the State Architect.
  • Inspect Licensed Facility Fire Clearance requested by the California Departments of Social Services, Health Services, Alcohol and Drug Programs, and Santa Clara County Social Services (Foster Care).
  • Inspect organized Camp Annual Fire Clearance upon request.
  • Review and inspect applications for Burn Permits in unincorporated Wildland Urban Interface areas of the County.

NOTE: Responsibility for the Weed Abatement Program has been transferred to the County Division of Agriculture.

Codes & Standards Adopted by the County Fire Marshal

  • Section A33-47 of the Santa Clara County Code and Section 101 of the California Fire Code give the County Fire Marshal the authority to make and enforce such rules and regulations for the prevention and control of fire and fire hazards as may be necessary to carry out the intent of the Code. Copies of Santa Clara County Fire Marshal Standards and the County Fire Code Amendments can be found on this website. [REF: SCC §A33-47 & CFC §101.4]
  • The Fire Marshal's Office also has the responsibility for enforcing Title 19 of the California Code of Regulations, and portions of the California Building Code, as adopted by the County of Santa Clara. A copy of the County Fire Code is kept at the County Clerk of the Board's Office.