Fire Prevention Bureau
The Fire Prevention Bureau is responsible for inspecting commercial and industrial occupancies for compliance with the Village's fire prevention codes. Each occupancy is formally inspected approximately once every 3 years. Occupancies of a higher risk potential are inspected more frequently. All new commercial/industrial/multifamily occupancies are required to be inspected, prior to opening for business.and/or occupancy, in order to obtain their Village business license.
Fire Code (2018 International Fire Code):
By ordinance, the 2018 International Fire Code with local amendments is adopted as the standard for the Village of Wheeling. These local amendments can be found in Title 14 - Fire, of the Wheeling Municipal Code. The Fire Code applies to both new and existing buildings/structures within the community and establishes a minimum set of regulations intended to help assure the safety of our residents, visitors, and businesses. For matters involving the construction or remodeling of buildings/structures within the Village of Wheeling, by ordinance, the 2018 International Building Code, 2018 International Residential Code, and the 2018 International Existing Buildings Code; all with various local amendments, is adopted. These local amendments can be found in Title 15 - Buildings and Construction, Chapter 15.01 Codes.
Inspection of Schools:
Under a special agreement with the local school districts (District 21 and District 214), each school within the community is inspected bi-annually. All licensed day cares and pre-schools are also inspected annually. Routine fire drills are monitored by Fire Department personnel to ensure that proper evacuation techniques are utilized by all occupants.
In addition to fire prevention inspections, the Fire Prevention Bureau is responsible for reviewing and monitoring various life safety and fire detection/suppression related items associated with all new construction.
Other Responsibilities of the Fire Prevention Bureau:
These include, but are not limited to:
- Emergency lighting.
- Exiting requirements.
- Fire alarm systems.
- Fire Department access to the site.
- Fire hydrant placement.
- Water main sizing.
- Fire access roads (i.e. fire lanes).
- Fire sprinkler systems.
- Standpipe systems.
- Chemical storage and handling.
- Restaurant hood & duct suppression systems.
- Explosion venting systems.
Fire Sprinkler Systems:
Fire sprinkler systems are required in all new construction regardless of its square footage. Existing commercial, industrial, and multi-family occupancies are required to be retrofitted with fire sprinkler systems if the structure is increased in square footage and/or the degree of fire hazard is increased as defined by the Village of Wheeling Building Code. Additional conditions apply regarding retrofitting of residential properties (single family homes, townhomes, and mobile homes) in the event of damage, remodeling, or expansion/addition to the primary building/structure.. Please see our page on Fire Sprinkler Installation Requirements for more details.
All fires resulting in property loss are investigated by the Wheeling Fire Department. The Fire Department has 8 members who are specially trained and certified by the State of Illinois and/or the National Fire Academy as “Fire Investigators” or “Fire/Arson Investigators”. These members are responsible for:
- Determining the point of origin
- Determining the probable cause of the fire
- Working closely with the Wheeling Police Department in seeking conviction of responsible parties in criminally caused fires
- Assisting property owners in dealing with their insurance companies in post-fire claim resolution