Do Not Get Ripped Off!
BEWARE of fraudulent fire inspectors
In 2010, the County of Kern found individuals and a fire protection company posing as firefighters performing fire inspections of our local businesses. Our investigations revealed that the subjects would enter a business suggesting they represented the fire department and stating they were going to perform the “quarterly fire inspection”. After these fraudulent inspections, businesses would receive an invoice for various services that were allegedly performed. This was then followed by “aggressive and professional collection efforts”.
The Kern County Fire Department conducts fire inspections in all Kern businesses once per calendar year. Business owners should not let anyone inspect their fire extinguisher, sprinkler system or alarm system, unless you know they are legitimate or until requested by Kern County Fire Department personnel when performing their annual fire inspections.
Fire protection companies DO NOT have the authority to require a business to have any work performed if they visit your business.
Thank you for helping us combat this fraud. If you have any questions call the Fire Prevention Division at (661) 391-7080.
Fire Protection Business & Professional Requirements
When someone enters your business to perform any type of fire protection work, they must do three things before you should even consider retaining their services.
- They must tell you what company they are from, why they are in your business, and produce a business card.
- They must tell you what they intend to do and what the estimated costs are before they do anything (DO NOT PAY IN CASH!). Invoicing records are important for your business and legal avenues.
- They must leave any parts that they have replaced and charged for you. They must leave you with a signed invoice. (Also know what you are signing with any invoicing.)
We recommend you ask to see their current County of Kern business license for the company they represent and California State Fire Marshal picture identification, or a C-16 or C-10 license issued by the California Contractors State License Board.
You can always refuse service and request, at any time, that a Kern Fire Department Inspector visit your business.
We will gladly advise you of any needed service. Thank you for helping us combat fraud.
Kern County Fire Marshal