Moreno Valley City Logo

News Release  

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 4, 2009
CONTACT:Randy Metz
Fire Marshal
Fire Prevention Bureau
951.413.3370    randym@moval.org

City Warns Businesses about Fraudulent Fire Inspectors

The Moreno Valley Fire Department warns local businesses to be watchful for fraudulent fire inspectors. Opportunists are always present, but never so much as when the economy is struggling. Various fire departments are indicating an increase of both individuals and fire protection companies posing in official-looking clothing, and performing questionable “inspections” in local businesses. These individuals will typically enter businesses suggesting that they represent the fire department, and state that they “need to look at the fire protection system,” “need to inspect the system,” or other similar statements. After these fraudulent inspections, businesses typically receive an invoice for services that are allegedly performed. The invoice is then followed by aggressive and professional collection efforts.

The Moreno Valley Fire Department inspects businesses on an annual basis. Business owners, managers, and employees should not let anyone inspect their fire extinguishers, sprinkler systems, hood systems, or any other protection devices unless they are under annual contracts or reach another agreement for a specific fire protection service prior to the service call.

The Moreno Valley Fire Department offers local businesses the following items to look for before they consider retaining a vendor to perform any type of fire protection system services:

  1. Make sure they introduce themselves, identify their business, and produce a business card. Allowing an individual to enter your business without a clear understanding of who that person is, as well as his or her intentions, is not recommended.
  2. Request to see a copy of a current business license permit from your City of Moreno Valley Business License Office, a contractor’s “C-16” (fire sprinklers and fixed protection systems) or “C-10” (fire alarms) license. Check their license at http://www.cslb.ca.gov
  3. Ensure that they state what they intend to do, and what the estimated costs will be. Never pay in cash. Invoicing and record keeping are important for your business and the establishment of legal avenues.
  4. Insist that they leave any replaced or changed parts with the business owner. He or she must leave also provide a signed invoice.

Remember that business owners may always refuse service and contact the Moreno Valley Fire Department for guidance. The Fire Prevention Bureau will gladly advise local businesses of any required service schedules of fire protection systems, and assist in verifying that a company is qualified to provide the appropriate inspection, testing, and maintenance.

For further information, or to report a fraudulent inspector, call the Moreno Valley Fire Department, Fire Prevention Bureau at 951.413.3370.

# # #