Fire Department Department Home

Fire Prevention

You and your family are fast asleep when the smoke alarm sounds:
Do you know what to do?

October 3, 2017 -- Consider this scenario: It’s 2 o’clock in the morning. You and your family are fast asleep when you awaken to the smoke alarm sounding and the smell of smoke. What do you do? If you and your family don’t have a plan in place, it could jeopardize your safety, or even prove deadly.

In a typical home fire, you may have as little as one to two minutes to escape safely from the time the smoke alarm sounds. That’s why home escape planning is so critical in a fire situation. It ensures that everyone in the household knows how to use that small window of time wisely.

“Developing and practicing a home escape plan is like building muscle memory,” said Jessica Power, Fire Marshal of the Petaluma Fire Department. “That pre-planning is what everyone will draw upon to snap into action and escape as quickly as possible in the event of a fire.”

This year’s Fire Prevention Week theme, “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!” works to better educate the public about the critical importance of developing a home escape plan and practicing it. The Petaluma Fire Department is working in coordination with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the official sponsor of the Fire Prevention Week for more than 90 years, to reinforce those potentially life-saving messages. Fire Prevention Week is October 8-14, 2017.

“Home escape planning is one of the most basic but fundamental elements of home fire safety, and can truly make the difference between life and death in a fire situation,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of Outreach and Advocacy.

In support of Fire Prevention Week, PFD encourages all Petaluma households to develop a plan together and practice it. A home escape plan includes working smoke alarms on every level of the home, in every bedroom, and near all sleeping areas. It also includes two ways out of every room, usually a door and a window, with a clear path to an outside meeting place (like a tree, light pole, or mailbox) that’s a safe distance from the home.

NFPA and the Petaluma Fire Department offer these additional tips and recommendations for developing and practicing a home escape plan:

  • Draw a map of your home with all members of your household, marking two exits from each room and a path to the outside from each exit.
  • Practice your home fire drill twice a year. Conduct one at night and one during the day with everyone in your home, and practice using different ways out.
  • Teach children how to escape on their own in case you can’t help them.
  • Make sure the number of your home is clearly marked and easy for the fire department to find.
  • Close doors behind you as you leave — this may slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire.
  • Once you get outside, stay outside. Never go back inside a burning building.



The Fire Prevention Bureau exists to provide the highest level of fire and life safety services through public education, inspection/code enforcement, and plan review to ensure that buildings are properly constructed in accordance with local and state Fire and Building Code requirements. Fire Prevention Bureau personnel strive to provide the communities we serve with the most current information available to safely maintain their homes and businesses in a manner that prevents fire and hazardous materials incidents.


At Petaluma Fire Department, we see prevention as a team effort. We work with you to make our community safer for everyone. Our firefighters spend many hours each year at schools teaching fire and life safety to children, their families, and educators. The community's excellent safety record can also be attributed to an aggressive fire code inspection program. Our inspectors work with contractors to ensure that new buildings are built to the strictest fire and life safety standards. They work with Petaluma business owners to help eliminate conditions that threaten the safety of the buildings’ occupants or impede our ability to efficiently assist in an emergency.


Under the direction of the Fire Marshal, the Fire Prevention Bureau’s main responsibilities include: Fire Investigation, Code Enforcement and Inspection, Plan Review, Public Education, and Weed Abatement.


PLAN REVIEW is staffed with two part-time plan review contractors. Plan review is conducted for new construction projects, building remodels and proposed land development projects throughout the City. Plan review ensures that the building and its fire and life safety systems are designed, installed, and tested to the most current code requirements. It also ensures that all new construction and existing building remodels comply with the City’s FIRE SPRINKLER ORDINANCE (go to section 903.2).


CODE ENFORCEMENT AND INSPECTION is conducted by two full time Fire Inspectors who are responsible for inspecting existing businesses and properties for fire code violations and to ensure businesses follow safe handling, use, and storage practices for hazardous materials per the California Fire Code and other State laws. Inspectors ensure that fire and life safety systems, such as fire sprinkler and fire alarm, are serviced and maintained properly at all times. Inspections are also conducted for special events such as fairs, carnivals and fireworks displays.


WEED ABATEMENT inspections of both public and private properties are conducted to ensure that hazardous conditions resulting from the excessive accumulation of high weeds, grass and dead vegetation are abated. These fuels can contribute to fire spread from property to property or to structures. Weed Abatement insures that property owners maintain a “defensible space” around their property that would allow firefighters to effectively stop fires from spreading from open space areas to homes. These areas can be viewed on the FIRE HAZARD SEVERITY ZONE MAP.

Please see Weed Abatement Complaints and Weed Abatement Guidelines for more information.


PUBLIC EDUCATION provides information that promotes positive fire and life safety attitudes and behaviors in all age groups. Our Public Education personnel are trained to provide information on a broad range of topics from teaching kindergarteners how to “Stop, Drop and Roll” to assisting senior citizens in how to recognize and eliminate hazards in their home. Our public educators also provide intervention for children and families on how to curb juvenile fire setting behavior.



FIRE INVESTIGATION is conducted by the Fire Marshal and Fire Inspectors who are responsible for determining the origin and cause of fires.


Fire Sprinkler/Alarm Systems and Engineers
List of Fire Protection Engineers
List of Fire Sprinkler Contractors
Residential Sprinkler Retrofit Requirement
Residential Fire Sprinkler System Flyer
Quarterly Fire Sprinkler Maintenance Field Inspection Guide

Hazardous Materials
Procedures for Closure/Removal of Aboveground Storage Tanks
Procedures for Temporary Closure/Removal of Underground Storage Tanks
CERS Guidance Document- General
Tier I Qualified Facility Only SPCC Plan
Hazardous Waste Transportation and Disposal Firms
UST Alteration and Repair Permit Requirements

Electronic Reporting Lead Authorization Form

Plan Review
Permit Application
Permit Fees
Hood Duct Installation Checklist
Solar Photovoltaic System Submittals

Special Events and Occupancies
Special Events Permit Form
Special Events Permit FAQ
Tents & Canopies Standard
Tent Permit Application
Haunted House Standards

Open Burning and Fireplaces
Outdoor Fireplace/Fire Pit Guidelines

Weed Abatement and Wildland Urban Interface (WUI)
Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) Map 2014
Weed Abatement Complaint Form
Weed Abatement Guidelines



Large Family Daycare Requirements
Carbon Monoxide Alarm Requirements
Request for Public Records

Contact Information

Leonard Thompson, Fire Chief

Jessica Power,
Fire Marshal Fire Prevention & Technical Services Division

Dave Kahn,
Battalion Chief - Fire Administration

Jeff Holden,
Battalion Chief - Support Services Division

Jeff Schach,
Battalion Chief - Operations & Disaster Preparedness

Mike Medeiros,
Battalion Chief - Communications, Technology, Safety & Wellness, Training


Petaluma Fire Department Location:
198 ‘D’ St.
Petaluma, CA 94952
phone: 707.778.4390
alternative emergency phone:
fax: 707.931.0668
Fire Prevention Bureau Location:
22 Bassett Street
Fire Marshal
phone: 707.778.4389
fax: 707.206.6036
mailing address:
11 English Street
Petaluma, CA 94952

Quick Links