Fire Prevention Bureau
The heart of the Fire Department's effort to keep fires from occurring comes from the Fire Prevention Bureau. The Bureau is headed by the Fire Marshal and includes a variety of duties and responsibilities.
The Fire Prevention Bureau's goal is the prevention of injury, death, and property loss through planning, awareness and enforcement of safe fire practices.
The Bureau uses Fire Code Enforcement and Public Fire Safety Education to raise fire safety awareness among the citizens of Georgetown. For information on Fire Code Enforcement in the City or for Public Fire Safety Education Programs, contact the Bureau directly at 843-546-6722.
Fire Inspectors make routine inspections in nearly every building in the City at least once per year. Many buildings are visited more often based on their use. For example, restaurants, schools, auditoriums or places where large numbers of people can gather, are inspected more frequently to ensure all of the Fire Safety systems and equipment are working properly.
Inspections are conducted with the owner, agent or manager of the property and are systematic, floor by floor, room by room, so the inspector can see every possible place a fire could start. If a hazard is located, the inspector will note it in his report and a copy will be made for the owner of the property.
Usually, fire hazards are corrected within thirty days. However, some serious hazards may have to be corrected immediately, such as locked or blocked exit doors, or malfunctioning fire suppression equipment.
The Fire Inspector can issue a fine for each violation, but that is rare. We try very hard to work with business owners to correct safety hazards before it becomes necessary to levy fines.
In Georgetown and throughout South Carolina, the International Fire Code, 2006 edition, is the currently enforced code.
The Code is intended to make sure all fire protection systems are maintained as they were designed. Such systems may include detection and suppression systems, but also include special fire rated walls and doors, which must remain in place for the duration of the building's life.
The IFC is adopted by City Council as a City Ordinance each time the code is updated, which is about every three years. City Council has also enacted ordinances for fire safety beyond the Fire Prevention Code. These ordinances include requirements to maintain enough distance in front of a shopping center to allow a fire truck to gain access (also called a Fire Lane), and one of the first laws in South Carolina requiring a smoke detector in every home in the City.
City Fire Regulations
These documents are the actual ordinances enacted by City Council. The Articles and Section numbers are City Code designations. If you have questions or comments about these codes, please contact the department. We will respond to your inquiry as soon as possible.
Click Here to read the City Code.
Our department exists to serve the citizens of Georgetown in all aspects of safety. We offer several special safety programs geared toward specific community and age groups.
Our most popular program is our free smoke detector program. Because we believe so deeply in the power of an early warning device for fire that we went to City Council in 1991 to secure funds to place 5,000 smoke detectors in Georgetown homes. Since then, we've installed or replaced more than 10,000 smoke detectors in the City.
Our smoke detector program is available to any City resident who live in their home and is financially, physically, or mentally challenged. Call our office at 843-545-4200 to have one installed. Please note that we cannot install more than one per household and you must own your home. If you do not own your home, notify your landlord. By City Ordinance, the landlord is responsible to insure a detector has been installed, the renter must maintain it.
Our other services include Public Fire Safety Education programs geared specifically to school age children, Medical Services that include pre-hospital emergency patient care in support of the Georgetown County Emergency Medical Service.