[San Mateo County] Menlo Fire Protection District meeting

Blog note: this is part of a longer article that also dealt with other matters.

Staff also reported that the district received a high rating for its fire safety inspection program in a recent report from the San Mateo County Civil Grand Jury.

In the report, the district was identified as one of six out of 10 San Mateo County fire districts that have written policies and procedures to carry out mandated annual inspections. Fire officials are required to inspect all public and private schools, hotels and motels, and apartments and condominiums, according to the report.

The grand jury also judged the district's inspection policy as one of the two "most comprehensive" by defining the buildings to be inspected, procedures to be followed, and inspection fees.

It was also named as one of three districts that conducted inspections of more than 90% of buildings that it was required to inspect between 2015 and 2018.

Fire agency inspection programs are coming under intense scrutiny in the Bay Area since the Ghost Ship fire in Oakland in December 2016 that killed 36 people.

In that case, the Oakland Fire Department had no record of the Ghost Ship property and, as a result, the property was never formally inspected, according to the grand jury report.

In addition, city and county officials were aware of the warehouse and the fact that it was being used as a live/work space, but did not take action that could have prevented the disaster, although a variety of fire and building code violations existed in the warehouse, the report said.

August 27, 2019

The Almanac

By Rick Radin