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Prevention

COVID-19 OPERATIONAL DIRECTIVE – FIRE PREVENTION

Your health is our number one priority during this National Emergency related to the global pandemic COVID-19 outbreak. With the most recent updates from the CDC, Marin County Health Department and the Marin County Order to Shelter in Place. The following changes to our daily work plan shall go into effect starting Monday March 16th, 2020 at 08:00 and remain in place until a notice of cancelation has been issued.

VEGETATION MANAGEMENT:

Under the County of Marin's Order, issued March 31, 2020, vegetation management work that includes the reduction and/or removal of vegetation in regards to mitigating fire hazards and providing defensible space is determined as an essential service. 

For homes located in the Wildland Urban Interface, work shall continue, either personally or by landscapers or gardeners, to conduct this critical fire safety work.  Fire Chief's letter for verification of vegetation management for fire safety.

Vegetation Management for fire prevention and safety should include, but not be limited to:

  • Cutting dry grasses and brush 10 feet from roads, driveways, and property lines, 30 feet from the home, and up to 150 feet for homes affected by steep slopes.
  • Trimming back branches that are smaller than three inches in diameter that is within 10 feet of the structure.
  • Clearing out dead debris, including buildup of leaves, needles, and tree droppings, from decks, roofs, exterior stairs and walkways, and gutters.
  •  Removing dead vegetation from the property, including the buildup of dead debris and droppings from within shrubs, bushes, and trees.
  • Limbing up trees by cutting low hanging branches 10 feet from the ground and cutting branches from other trees and shrubs to create adequate spacing.

All individuals who are performing vegetation maintenance work are required to follow the CDC Guidelines for sanitation and social distancing.

Click here for Emergency Preparedness Information.

Fire Prevention Programs

Our goal is to prevent the loss of life and reduce damage by fire through increased public awareness and continued strict enforcement of all fire codes, standards and ordinances.

To meet this goal, the following objectives have been established:

  • Protection of life and property by eliminating obvious potential fire hazards in the community
  • Improve awareness toward fire prevention by those in charge of the property
  • Compile and maintain an accurate history of the fire potential of each business as well as the total potential for the entire community
  • Familiarize fire department personnel with structural and operational aspects of various occupancies to which they may respond.

There are numerous programs as part of our fire prevention program:

  • Review of building plans from Planning and Building Department for compliance with Fire Department conditions
  • Inspections of new construction projects for compliance with Fire Department conditions
  • Bi-annual inspection of businesses for compliance with fire prevention codes
  • Monthly inspection of selected commercial occupancies during peak-use times for compliance with fire prevention codes
  • Public education programs for targeted groups such as schools or business communities
  • Investigation of fires
  • Inspections of residential and commercial properties as part of our annual Vegetation Management Inspection Program.

Authority for these programs is established through:

COMMUNITY EDUCATION:

  • Smoke Alarms Save Lives, click here for safety tips.
  • Carbon Monoxide Alarms Required, click here for Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Plan Ahead! click here for information on Home Evacuation Planning.

Special notice about BBQ's:

Section 308 of the 2010 California Fire Code, as adopted by Mill Valley City Ordinance 1245, regulates the use of charcoal and gas-fueled barbeques. Click here for the specific code section.

Wildland Urban Interface Code:

As of January 1, 2008, Chapter 15.06 of Title 15 of the City of Mill Valley Municipal Code requires that new construction, or projects deemed substantial remodels be subject to the provisions of the 2006 Edition of the International Urban Wildland Interface Code, as amended and adopted by City Ordinance 1228.

The ordinance establishes a Wildland Urban Interface, or WUI Zone and established requirements for access, water supply and vegetation management in the WUI Zone. Building within the WUI Zone may also be subject to additional building requirements found in Chapter 7A of the 2010 Edition of the California Building Code. For more information on Chapter 7A Building Requirements, contact the Building Departments.

WUI related documents:

Additional WUI/Vegetation Management Resources