The Fire Prevention Division is responsible for the enforcement of fire related state and local laws and ordinances as adopted by both the State of California and the Aptos/La Selva Fire District. To accomplish this, a Fire Marshal, and a seasonal group of Fire Inspectors staff the Fire Prevention Division. The enforcement of the various laws and ordinances is delivered at both the engine company and division level, and always with customer service in mind.
The Aptos/La Selva Fire District and all fire districts within Santa Cruz County adopted a fire sprinkler ordinance in 1989. Since the inception of this ordinance, fire sprinklers protect nearly every new structure, and many existing structures when they have been added to or undergone a major remodel. The installation and required testing of new fire protection equipment is under the direction of the fire service, and is part of the fire code, rather than the building code. Prior to the adoption of the sprinkler ordinance, the Aptos/La Selva Fire District adopted an ordinance for the installation of automatic fire alarm systems in all commercial occupancies not otherwise protected, and in some specific residential occupancies. This ordinance has been in place since the early 1970's, and is still in use today for those occupancies not protected by an automatic fire sprinkler system.
The Fire Prevention Division provides planning input for developers, plan checking and inspection services at the various levels required by the County of Santa Cruz Planning Department. Plans check for all specialized fire detection and suppression systems are performed by outside resources, while the inspection of these systems is performed by Prevention personnel. The Prevention Division also coordinates Public Education at various public venues, Station Tours for all age groups, Special Events, Fire Hydrant Maintenance, water system improvements and installation of fire hydrants, weed abatement, urban interface compliance, and investigations of suspicious fires and/or fires of undetermined origin.