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Waterloo Fire Department facing growing inspection backlog

Last Updated Jan 19, 2016 at 6:09 pm EDT

Photo from: www.waterloo.ca/en/living/fire.asp

The Waterloo Fire Department is facing a growing problem.

Due to under staffing, fire prevention officers have fallen behind on case files.

Over 1,200 fire inspection files remain open at the Waterloo Fire Department offices.

The department has asked to hire an addition fire prevention officer to help reduce the backlog.

According to Waterloo Fire Chief Richard Hepditch, the open case files do not pose a considerable safety risk because they are still able to handle imminent threats right away.

However, he added that having an additional fire prevention officer would allow them to be more proactive.

Waterloo Fire Chief Hepditch says they remain committed to preventing fires before they happen.

“If we can do better in the first two areas (fire education and fire inspection) in particular in proactive measures, the goal is to avoid responding to fires, and we don’t have a fire to respond to because people know what to do and have taken measures in their home and in their work place.” Said Hepditch.

Hepditch also said that adding an addition five prevention officer was contained in their 2016-2018 operating budget.

Currently Waterloo has three fire prevention officers, according to city’s fire master plan the city of Waterloo should have eight prevention officers based on its population.