The exact job description of a fire prevention officer may vary somewhat, depending on the jurisdiction in which a person works. In general, however, a person with this title has the job of working to prevent fires by educating others about hazards and fire prevention techniques as well as by inspecting buildings and other locations for hazardous conditions. A person with this job will usually have to learn and understand building and fire hazard laws and codes in his jurisdiction and inform individuals and business owners when they violate them. His job may also involve investigating complaints that pertain to fire safety law violations.
A fire prevention officer has the job of minimizing the risk of fire in a number of different ways. For example, he might work to educate individuals in his community about fire safety and prevention. He may do this by visiting schools and community organizations to help educate others or by attending events at which he has the opportunity to talk about fire prevention. An individual with this title might also speak with people who visit fire departments. In some cases, he may even create informative materials and develop unique fire prevention programs.
An individual who has the title of fire prevention officer may also have the job of learning his jurisdiction's laws as they pertain to fire hazards, fire safety, and buildings. Often, these laws are referred to as codes, and a fire prevention officer uses these codes when inspecting buildings and other types of property. If he finds hazards, he usually has the job of notifying the person who created the fire hazard or the owner of the property. Depending on the seriousness of the hazard, the person may receive a deadline for fixing the issue or he may be required to fix it right away.
Sometimes a fire prevention officer also has the responsibility of investigating reports about fire hazards and code violations. For example, he may receive information from ordinary citizens, other fire department workers, or law enforcement officials that indicate possible hazards. In most cases, he must document these reports and travel to the area in question to inspect. If he does find violations, he usually has the responsibility of documenting the issue and notifying the person who is at responsible.
In some cases, a fire prevention officer also performs tasks that involve other fire workers. For instance, he may be responsible for educating other fire workers and helping to ensure they are able to do their jobs well. Even in this type of situation he is working to help prevent fires and make sure that any that do develop are easier to fight.