Under the direction of District Chief Kellie Sawyers, the Code Enforcement Section is charged with enforcement of fire codes for Oklahoma City. This office is also responsible for the inspection of all automatic fire suppression systems, sprinkler and standpipe systems, and 704M hazardous material placarding.
In 1992, a Fire Protection Specialist was added to the Code Enforcement Section which brought knowledge and expertise in the areas of automatic suppression systems, fire flows and risk analysis.
Residential sprinkler systems have been successfully marketed to property developers and are now required by covenant in some housing additions built outside the Fire Department's primary coverage area. The Code Enforcement staff has also worked on eliminating apartment complexes with restricted access for fire apparatus.
Computer technology was brought on line in 1990, with a network connection that gives instant access for fire inspectors to the City Public Works Department. This capability allows for quicker resolve to issues that arise regarding violations within the city limits.
The Oklahoma City Fire Investigation Unit, as it is operated today, started in 1977. Prior to that, the Arson Investigators would determine cause and origin of fires and the Police Department Detective Unit would follow up the cases. In 1977, the Fire Marshal's office took fire and arson investigation and all related responsibilities from the Police Department, recognizing that fire and arson investigation was a Fire Department concern. City Ordinance was amended to provide for this change and all Fire Marshal agents to become peace officers after completing the necessary State required training.
Currently headed by District Chief Homer Jones, the Fire Investigation Unit works closely with Code Enforcement and Public Education. Serving as a barometer for what is burning in the City, fire investigation provides information for fire code enforcement, firefighting tactics, and public fire education/awareness programs.
Late in 1990, "Operation Fire S.A.F.E." was implemented and staffed as a joint venture between Public Education and the Fire Investigation Unit The program shares resources and experience to counsel with juvenile fireplay, and to change the firesetting behavior of juveniles by maintaning a less than 10% recidivism rate.