The Inspections Division of the State Fire Marshal's Office is responsible for all facilities licensed through the Department of Human Services and is also responsible for licensing and permitting of explosives and fireworks. They work in conjunction with the Fire Investigation division when requested or required. The Division inspects approximately 25 different types of facilities, with the primary focus being to enforce NFPA 101, the Life Safety Code. Among the types of facilities inspected are hospitals, nursing homes, daycare facilities, boarding homes, and mental health agencies.
The Unit consists of an Assistant State Fire Marshal of Prevention, two supervisors, eight field inspectors, and three clerical staff. When the members of the Inspections Division are inspecting buildings, they are making sure that the building meets all of the codes of NFPA 101 for a new or existing building, whichever applies. Sometimes the inspector must refer back to the code under which the structure was built to clarify any questions in this highly technical area, and to be sure that the building is compliant with the code requirements. The Division is preparing to use field computers for these inspections.
A big part of an inspector's daily activities is working directly with the public. Educating the public in the area of fire prevention is important, and so the inspectors try to incorporate education into the inspection process. Along with their inspection duties, the staff provide training for local fire inspectors, Maine Fire Inspector Technician, so that local fire officials can assist with inspections in their own area. The Inspections Division also gives guidance and assistance to local fire officials for code enforcement and interpretation.