Fire and Life Safety Division
The Fire and Life Safety Division is comprised of the Fire Marshal and two Fire/Codes Inspectors. The Fire Marshal and Inspectors are responsible for conducting inspections for new and existing businesses within the City of Florence as well as reviewing plans for new construction and remodels within the City.
The Division is also responsible for public education throughout the City of Florence.
The City of Florence Fire Department strongly recommends that every home have a fire escape plan that is effective and well known by all family members. To plan a home fire escape plan, draw a floor plan of your home that shows all windows, doors, halls, stairs and rooms. Make sure all rooms, especially bedrooms, have at least two exits. Draw dark arrows on your plan to indicate normal exits. Mark emergency escape routes with red arrows. These alternative exits are to be used when normal exits are blocked. Test your escape routes. Make sure windows can be opened easily, and that screens and storm windows can be removed from the inside. If your bedrooms are on the second floor, install folding fire escape ladders. If you live in an apartment or other group residence, be sure that the building has an overall plan in place and that your plan fits with it.
To account for everyone's safety, select and list on your plan a definite meeting place outside the house and near the front of the house. Assign someone to assist infants, small children, elderly, and disabled family members. Be prepared to call the Fire Department from a neighbor's house by dialing 911. Hold fire drills with all family members at least once each month. This will test the practicality of your plan and give you a chance to practice escaping. For more information or assistance in planning your fire escape plan, please stop by the department main offices, located at 324 W. Evans Street, between 8:30 am and 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday, or call them at 843-665-3231.
- Have working smoke detectors in proper locations (at least one each sleeping level).
- Have a working fire extinguisher (ABC Type).
- Store combustibles in approved containers and cabinets.
- Have heating systems cleaned before use each season.
- When using fuel burning systems, use approved fuels.
- Allow proper clearance for all heating systems (see appliance label).
- Be aware of electrical hazards, DO NOT overload outlets.
- Use extreme caution when cooking; never leave cooking food unattended.
- Have and Practice a Home Escape Plan - Know two ways out of each room.
- Practice Exit Drill In The Home--E.D.I.T.H.
- Make sure you have visible and conspicuous house numbers posted on the street side of your home for all emergency responders.
Fires do happen, but most can be prevented or controlled by taking measures that reduce the likelihood of one occurring. The City of Florence Fire Department helps to keep citizens informed as to ways to protect their homes from fire. These are some precautions you can take to help guard your home against fires:
- Request a courtesy Fire Department inspection of your home or business for fire safety and prevention.
- Regularly clean your roof and gutters of loose debris.
- Inspect chimneys at least twice a year and clean them at least once a year if creosote accumulation is 1/8 inch or more.
- Keep dampers in good working order.
- Equip chimneys and stovepipes with a spark arrester that meets the requirements of the National Fire Protection Association Code 211. Contact the Florence Fire Department for exact specifications. Use ½-inch mesh screen beneath porches, decks, floor areas and the home itself. Also, screen openings to the floors, roof, and attic.
- Install ABC-type fire extinguishers and a residential type sprinkler system in your home.
- Consider installing protective shutters or heavy fire-resistant drapes.
- Keep household items handy that can be used as fire tools: a rake, axe, handsaw or chain saw, bucket, shovel, and a ladder that will reach the roof.
- Identify and maintain an adequate outside water source such as a small pond, cistern, well, swimming pool, or hydrant.
- Have a garden hose that is long enough to reach any area of the home and other structures on the property.
- Install freeze-proof exterior water outlets on at least two sides of the home and near other structures on the property.
- Install additional outlets at least 50 feet from the home.
- Consider obtaining a portable gasoline powered pump in case electrical power is cut off.
- Clean out storage areas. Don't let trash such as old newspapers and magazines accumulate.
- Check electrical wiring. Inspect cords for frayed or exposed wires or loose plugs. Do not overload extension cords or outlets. If you need to plug in two or three appliances, get a UL-approved unit with built-in circuit breakers to prevent sparks and short circuits.
- Never use gasoline, benzine, naphtha or other flammable liquids indoors or as cleaning fluids. Store them in approved containers and well-ventilated outside storage areas and never smoke near them.
- Safely discard all rags or items soaked in a flammable liquid.
- Make sure your home heating source is clean and in working order.
- Many home fires are started by faulty furnaces or stoves, cracked or rusted furnace parts and chimneys with creosote build up. Have your furnace checked by a reputable service company each year before usage season begins.
- Use caution when using alternative heating sources, such as wood, coal, kerosene heaters, and electrical space heaters. Check with your local fire department on the legality of using these sources and ensure proper ventilation to the outside.
- Place heaters at least three feet away from combustible materials and do not use in areas where flammable liquids might be in use. Make sure the floor and nearby walls are properly insulated. Use only the type of fuel designated for your unit and follow manufacturers' instructions.
- Store ashes in a metal container outside and away from the house.
- Keep open flames away from walls, furniture, drapery and any flammable items.
- Keep a screen in front of the fireplace.
- Make sure home insulation does not touch electrical wiring.
- Know the locations of the gas valve and the main electric fuse or circuit breaker box and how to turn them off in an emergency.
- If you shut off your main gas line for any reason, allow only a gas company representative to turn it on again.
- Make sure your home has a visible and conspicuous house number posted on the outside of your house so that firefighters and other emergency workers can find you quickly in an emergency situation.
By following these practices, you can greatly reduce the risk of fire to your home as well as improve your ability to fight it should one occur. For more information on ways you can protect your home against fire, stop by the department main offices, located at 324 W. Evans Street, Florence, between 8:30 am and 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday, or call them at 843-665-3231.
The City of Florence Fire Department requires that every business or group residential facility have a fire escape plan that is effective and well known by all who work there. Fire exits are designed to provide continuous and unobstructed means of exiting out of a building. An exiting system in any building may include intervening aisles, doors, doorways, gates, corridors, exterior exit balconies, ramps, stairways, smoke proof enclosures, horizontal exits, exit passageways, exit courts and yards. Required exit doors must not be locked when a building is occupied. Escape routes should be posted at work stations and updated when changes are made. Remind personnel to observe the best escape route from their location.
To account for everyone's safety, select and list on your plan a definite meeting place outside. Assign someone to assist elderly and disabled employees. Hold fire drills with all workers at least once each quarter and more often if your occupancy is required to by Fire Code. This will test the practicality of your plan and give you a chance to practice escaping. For more information or assistance in planning your fire escape plan, please stop by the department main offices, located at 324 W. Evans Street, Florence between 8:30 am and 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday, or call them at 843-665-3231.
- Know the location of working fire extinguishers.
- Learn how to use a fire extinguisher.
- Review posted fire escape plans.
- Practice fire evacuation plan.
- Practice good house keeping.
- Storage of chemicals and combustibles should be in approved containers, cabinets and areas with no smoking signs posted.
- Smoking should be done in designated areas with approved containers
for disposal readily available.
- Be aware of electrical hazards.
- Do not block or lock approved exits.
- Maintain current records on items such as MSDS sheet, Fire Drills, etc.
- Keep and review service records on sprinkler systems, standpipe systems and hood systems.
- Post occupant capacity signs in visible locations.
- National Fire Protection Association provides a wealth of safety information for adults and children.
- United States Fire Administration provides fire safety information for teachers, parents, senior citizens, disabled persons and college students.
- Ready.gov gives you the information you need to prepare for a disaster. Learn how to care for yourself as well as your kids and pets in the event of a disaster.
- Ready.gov for kids teaches kids how to be prepared in case of a disaster. This site also provides information for teachers and parents.
- Sparky the Fire Dog provides kids with the knowledge they need to be fire safe. Play games while learning how to be safe with Sparky.
- Safe Kids Worldwide provides a wealth of safety information for children ages newborn to 19. You can find factsheets and tips for safety topics on anything from safety in the home to being safe on the roadways to sports safety. Each year 9000 families in the United States lose a child due to unintentional injury. Visit Safe Kids Worldwide to learn how to keep you children safe.
- Answering Mother Nature. Have a plan! Learn how to be prepared for a disaster from Safekids.