Technical Services Division
The Technical Services Division of the Office of the State Fire Marshal serves to support other operating divisions within the agency as well as the fire service and regulated public with technical and engineering expertise. The division is managed by the Fire Prevention Division Manager and staffed by a variety of personnel including engineers and fire protection specialists.
Personnel in this division perform plan reviews, recommend code interpretations, represent the agency on state and national code committees and task forces, assist other divisions of the OSFM with continuing education of inspection personnel and make presentations to the public and the regulated community relative to technical issues. Technical Services also provides expert advice in the agency's rulemaking processes for a variety of subjects including: Life Safety Code enforcement, aboveground tanks holding flammable or combustible liquids regulation, liquefied petroleum gas (LP-Gas) storage regulations, and a myriad of other fire prevention and petroleum and chemical related issues. The work of the Technical Services Division is conducted from both the OSFM's Chicago and Springfield offices.
Specific work includes:
- Reviewing architectural drawings of new construction, renovations and additions for compliance with state codes.
- Analysis of Fire Safety Evaluation Systems (FSES) which offer owners an alternative method for proving equivalent life safety in structures that may not be able to conform to the prescriptive requirements of the Life Safety Code.
- Analysis of submitted "Fire Safety Plans" for Illinois' correctional facilities.
- Preparing continuing education programs and support materials for the agency's field inspection workforce to familiarize them with applicable codes and changing technologies in an effort to ensure consistency in code enforcement across the state.
- Assisting OSFM operating divisions with the development of "Information Reports" and/or web page content to clarify technical and code requirements. This includes development of technical content for "Frequently Asked Questions" documents for the agency website.
- Representing the agency on state and national task forces and code development committees relative to fire prevention, code enforcement and petroleum & chemical safety issues.
- Providing expert testimony at appeal hearings and court cases on behalf of the Office of the State Fire Marshal.
- Assist Fire Prevention Division inspectors with more difficult field inspections to assist with Notice of Violation and compliance development.