The Santa Monica Fire Department Prevention Division is warning local business owners to be on the lookout for “fake” fire inspectors.
Fire officials have referred to some cases in the area where a person posing as a “fire inspector” offers to conduct an inspection of the business, wearing an official looking uniform and claiming
to be inspecting on behalf of the fire department.
“Typically, they come uninvited to businesses and ask an unsuspecting employee to sign a form authorizing the ‘inspection,’” Fire Marshal Nancy Johnson said. “If they do the inspection, they have the employee sign their form and then the business owner receives a bill at a later date or worse yet, the person may demand money up front. This scam is happening all over the Southern California area.”
Recently, the Los Angeles Fire Department wrote an article to their business community warning of similar activity in their city, according to the Santa Monica Fire Department.
Business owners are advised to only receive fire inspections from those conducted by the Santa Monica Fire Department. Inspectors are properly
identified as Santa Monica Fire Department personnel and they will contact the owner or manager of the business and announce their reason for being at the business.
They will also explain what they will be inspecting and will discuss their findings when their inspection is complete, Johnson noted. In addition, Santa Monica fire personnel carry identification that clearly states their name and position.
Anyone who is suspicious of a person conducting a fire inspection, is asked to call the Santa Monica Police Department and then the Fire Prevention Division at (310) 458-8915 to report the incident.