Waycross Fire Department Fire Safety

Annual Inspections

The Waycross Fire Department will perform two types of inspections per year.

Annual Business Inspections

Annual business inspections will be performed by State-Certified Inspectors through the local Fire Marshal’s office. These inspections are to check every commercial building for compliance with the currently approved National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards, International Fire and Building Codes, State of Georgia Codes and Amendments, as well as City of Waycross Codes and Ordinances.

The importance of the annual business inspections is to alert the owner/occupant of local businesses of any potential fire and other safety issues. Our goal is to protect the investments made by our local business owners, their patrons and neighboring businesses.

The annual business inspections will be done throughout the year – all year long.

Annual Pre-Fire Plans Inspections

The annual pre-fire plan inspections will be performed by our fire station crews. The importance and reason for this annual task is to familiarize crews with particulars and special considerations or hazards associated with individual commercial properties.

The crews will first seek permission to perform the annual pre-fire plan. Some of the items they will look for are location of any hazards, nearest fire hydrant(s), fire protection system (sprinkler systems and/or standpipe systems), general layout of the business’ footprint, location of utilities, hazards on or immediately around the property, and emergency contact information. These items will then be entered into our record data system for use in case of a fire.

This inspection will be done at a designated time each year.

Plans Review Fees

  • Buildings less than or equal to 10,000 sq. ft. gross area = $100.00
  • Buildings more than 10,000 sq. ft. gross area = $0.015 per sq. ft. gross
  • Sprinkler plan reviews = $100.00

Open Burning

The City of Waycross no longer allows open burning. Please place all yard debris by the roadside for pick-up. If you have any questions please contact the Waycross Fire Department at 912.287.2938 Monday through Friday from 8 to 5.

Construction Checklist

The following items address fire protection systems and associated items. This checklist is not intended to be all inclusive or occupancy specific. The items listed below are standard when applicable. The Waycross Fire Department will review plans on a case-by-case basis.

  • Combination standpipe/sprinkler systems shall not be permitted. When both systems are required, they will be separate standalone systems with separate fire department connections. (Authority Having Jurisdiction)
  • Signage is required at the fire department connection (FDC). The signs shall have the letters “FDC” in 6-inch red letters on a white background. Signs shall be permanently marked and shall be constructed of weather-resistant metal or rigid plastic material. (Authority Having Jurisdiction)
  • In addition, fire department connections shall have signage specifying “STANDPIPE” or “SPRINKLER.” Again, these signs must be weather-resistant metal or rigid plastic. The letters must be at least 2 inches in height. This can be integrated with the “FDC” sign but the letter heights for both still apply. (Authority Having Jurisdiction)
  • Fire department connections shall be located not more than 100 feet from the nearest hydrant connected to an approved water supply. (NFPA 14 6.4.5.4)
  • Fire department connections shall be located at the nearest point of fire department apparatus accessibility or at a location approved by the Fire Chief. (NFPA 24 5.9.5.1.)
  • Fire department connections shall be located and arranged so that hose lines can be attached to the inlets without interference (NFPA 24 5.9.5.2) from nearby objects, including buildings, fences, posts, landscaping, vehicles, or other fire department connections. (NFPA 14 6.4.5.1.1)
  • Where a fire department connection only supplies a portion(s) of the building, a sign shall be attached to indicate the portion(s) of the building supplied. (NFPA 24 5.9.5.5)
  • Fire department connections shall be visible and recognizable from the street or nearest point of fire department apparatus accessibility or on the street side of the buildings. (NFPA 14 6.4.5.1).
  • For the safety of fire personnel and efficiency of fire-ground operations, fire department connections shall be located away from the building at an approved location out of the buildings collapse zone. (Authority Having Jurisdiction).
  • If a fire department connection is placed in such a location that it blends in with the surroundings it is to be painted a contrasting color to stand out. (Authority Having Jurisdiction).
  • Fire department connections shall be equipped with listed plugs or caps that are secured and arranged for easy removal by fire departments (NFPA 24 5.9.1.4). The Waycross Fire Department requires the Caps/Covers on the fire department connections to be breakaway type. (Authority Having Jurisdiction).
  • No shutoff valve shall be permitted in the piping from the fire department connection piping to the point that the fire department connection piping connects to the system piping (NFPA 24 5.9.3.2).
  • Fire hydrants shall be located not less than 40 feet from the building to be protected. (NFPA 24 7.2.3)
  • Fire hydrants shall not be subject to pressure supplied by way of a fire department connection. (Authority Having Jurisdiction)
  • Fire hydrants shall consist of (1) 4 ½” outlet and (2) 2 ½” outlets (Authority Having Jurisdiction).
  • A listed check valve shall be installed in each fire department connection and located as near as practicable to the point where it joins the system. (NFPA 14 6.4.2)
  • Where above-ground water-filled supply pipes, risers, system risers, or feed mains pass through open areas, cold room, passageways, or other areas exposed to temperatures below 40ᵒ F, the pipe shall be protected against freezing by insulating coverings, frostproof casings, listed heat tracing systems, or other reliable means capable of maintaining a minimum temperature between 40ᵒ F and 120ᵒ F. (NFPA 13 8.16.4.1.3)
  • Where listed heat tracing systems are used, they shall be supervised. (NFPA 13 8.16.4.1.4)
  • Where listed heat tracing is utilized for branch lines, it shall be specifically listed for use on branch lines. (NFPA 13 8.16.4.1.5)
  • Insurance Services Office (ISO) requirements: Backflow preventers that are not located in an underground pit require either of the following to be protected from freezing when situated north of the 30ᵒ isothermic freeze line.
  • A small insulated house (a/k/a hot box) around the backflow device with thermostatically controlled hard wired heat to keep the exposed piping at 40 degrees or higher.
  • Insulation with heat tracing is acceptable if the following documentation is provided:
    • Heat tracing must be listed (UL or FM) for fire service (for outside use) to keep the exposed piping at 40 degrees or higher.
    • The heat tracing must be supervised by a listed device in accordance with NFPA 70 (NEC).
    • Power to the device must be liable and hard wired.
  • The installing contractor shall identify a hydraulically designed sprinkler system with a permanently marked weatherproof metal or rigid plastic sign secured with corrosion-resistant wire, chain, or other approved means. Such signs shall be placed at the alarm valve, dry pipe valve, pre-action valve, or deluge valve supplying the corresponding hydraulically designed area. (NFPA 13 25.5.1) (ISO requirement)

Safety Tips

The following items address fire protection systems and associated items. This checklist is not intended to be all inclusive or occupancy specific. The items listed below are standard when applicable. The Waycross Fire Department will review plans on a case-by-case basis.

COOKING SAFETY TIPS

  • Never leave cooking food unattended
  • Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling or broiling food. If you must leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
  • If you are simmering, baking or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind yourself that the stove or oven is on.
  • Avoid wearing loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking.
  • Keep children away from cooking areas by enforcing a “kid-free zone” of three feet around the stove.
  • Keep anything that can catch on fire – potholder, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels or curtains – away from your stove top and oven or any other appliance in the kitchen that generates heat.
  • Clean cooking surfaces on a regular basis to prevent grease buildup
  • Consider purchasing a fire extinguisher to keep in your kitchen. Contact your local fire department to take training on the proper use of extinguishers.
  • Always check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving the home to make sure all stoves, ovens and small appliances are turned off.
  • Smoke alarms save lives. Install a smoke alarm near your kitchen, on each level of your home, near sleeping areas, and inside and outside bedrooms if you sleep with the doors closed. Use the test button to check the smoke detector each month. Replace all batteries at least once a year. The best way to remember to change the batteries is to change them whenever the time changes.

Source: American Red Cross, US Fire Administration and the National Fire Protection Association

CLOTHES DRYER SAFETY TIPS

  • Never put synthetic fabric, plastic, rubber or foam in your dryer because they retain heat.
  • Clean the lint screen before and after each use.
  • Keep lint cleaned up all around the dryer.
  • Dryers must be vented to the outside.
  • Make sure the dryer has its own outlet.
  • Never leave home with the dryer running

Source: Alert-all Corporation

WIRING AND EXTENSION CORD SAFETY TIPS

In many older homes the capacity of the wiring system has not kept pace with today’s modern appliances. Overloaded electrical systems invite fire. Watch for the following overloaded signals:

  1. Dimming lights when an appliance goes on
  2. A shrinking TV picture
  3. Slow heating appliances (like a toaster)
  4. Fuses blowing frequently
    • Check for frayed insulation
    • Check for damaged cords
    • Check for loose connections
    • Check for loose wall receptacles
    • Never modify appliance cords or plugs.
    • Extension cords are for temporary use. They are not intended to be a permanent source of electricity. Never use the light duty drop cords (usually 6 foot or less in length at an extended power source).
    • When using extension cords, make sure to use the correct gauge cord to handle the amperage load. The small drop cords can easily overheat.
    • Do not place extension cords where they can be stepped on, driven over or other contact that may damage the cord.
    • Do not place extension cords under furniture, carpet or rugs.
    • Never modify an extension cord.
    • Discard an extension cord that shows signs of wear or damage.
    • Do not overload outlets.

Source: Alert-all Corporation and the Waycross Fire Department

FIRE SAFETY TIPS FOR SENIOR CITIZENS AND THOSE WITH DISABILITIES

People over age 65 are twice as likely to die or be injured in a fire as the population at large. By age 75 that risk increases to three times and by age 85, four times. The following are ways to help reduce these statistics.

  • Have a working smoke alarm on every level of the home.
  • If someone is hearing impaired, make sure the smoke alarms use flashing lights or some other visual aid.
  • Test smoke alarms once a month. If unable to reach, ask for help.
  • Replace all batteries at least once a year. The best way to remember to change the batteries is to change them whenever the time changes.
  • Have a new fire escape plan. If you are still using the escape plan that you used when the children were home, it is time to come up with a new plan
  1. You will still need two ways out of each room.
  2. Consider any limitations you may now have that would keep you from implementing your escape plan.
  3. Make sure to plan accordingly if any family member will need to assist you.
  4. Make sure your exits are wheelchair or walker accessible, if necessary.
  5. Put your plan to the test and practice it.
  • The leading cause of fire deaths among Americans 65 and older is careless smoking.
  • Never smoke in bed.
  • Do not smoke if you are feeling drowsy, if you are drinking or if you have taken medication that will make you drowsy.
  • Use large deep ashtrays and never leave smoking materials unattended.
  • Empty your ashtrays frequently but never throw hot ashes in the garbage. Wet the contents of the ashtray and then dispose of them.

Source: Alert-all Corporation

Kids' Corner

Sparky the Fire Dog® needs you to join his fire safety team! You and your family and friends can work together to learn the rules of fire safety: how to keep your family safe by using smoke alarms and how to develop and practice a home fire escape plan.