May 31, 2016
Charlotte is known as The Queen City and when it comes to fire and safety services the local Fire Department rules. Today Charlotte is served by almost 1200 professionals stationed at 42 fire stations across the city.
The need for fire protection services corresponded with the city’s growth. As more and more people moved from farms to urban areas buildings sprang up to accommodate that growth. Wood was the most common building material. The textile industry boomed in the Queen City. Those wooden buildings and the lint and dust byproducts of that industry created fire and life safety hazards unlike those found in most other cities. Factory owners took steps to protect their property aided by bucket brigades and volunteer fire fighters for much of the 19th Century.
Fire protection needs grew with the city and firefighting equipment became more expensive and sophisticated. Charlotte’s City Fathers rose to the challenge and created an official municipal fire department in the late 19th Century.
Today in the 21st the Charlotte Fire Department serves the needs of almost 800,000 residents. These well trained professionals provide a wide range of fire and life safety services beginning with the free installation of that most basic of fire protection device, the smoke detector. They also provide hazardous materials mitigation, code enforcement and emergency medical services. Fire investigators are assigned to study the causes of fires and the Charlotte Fire Department conducts educational and fire safety awareness services for schools, civic leagues and businesses.
Private fire protection services play an important role in Charlotte too. They serve small and large businesses with installation, inspection and maintenance of sprinkler systems. These private sector pros also install and manage fire alarm systems and fire extinguishing devices. In many cases they work hand in hand with the Charlotte Fire Department to inspect buildings and insure compliance with the city’s fire and building safety codes. Like their counterparts in the Fire Department they are well trained and participate in ongoing programs to hone and maintain their skills. Most private fire and life safety workers are certified and required to meet rigorous standards established by private and government agencies.
Private and municipal fire and life safety services make Charlotte a safer place to live and work. Business owners benefit from more reasonable fire insurance expenses and citizens can go through their daily lives knowing that when and if the need arises they have a large team with diverse skills ready to step in to prevent and minimize damage and injury.