Sumiton Fire and Rescue currently conducts a fire inspection on every new business opening in the city, on every business that applies for a liquor license and once a year for existing businesses. According to Fire Captain Mike Hammock, who conducts the fire inspections, he is looking at things like fire escapes, fire hazards and ensuring that fire extinguishers and any other safety equipment are up to date.
“It also helps us to know the layout of the building,” Hammock said. “That way, if something does happen, we know our way around and our first time inside isn’t when it is filled with smoke.”
An officer from Sumiton PD will now go along for the inspection as part of the Community Relations Team.
These joint inspections are part of the newly formed Sumiton Business Alliance. According to Sumiton Officer Scott Karr, who is spearheading the group, the goal of the program is to create a partnership between Sumiton’s emergency services and businesspeople to increase public safety and quality of life in the city.
Karr said that the officers who conduct these inspections are looking for things that will aid the first responders, such as clearly posted addresses, as well as providing a security review and making sure the business owners have emergency and nonemergency contact information for the police and fire departments.
Officers will also be updating the department’s records on after-hours contacts for the businesses so they know who to contact if something goes wrong.
Hammock says it is a good opportunity for the two departments to work together to improve the city and gives a lot of the credit for the idea to Karr.
“It was good insight on his part to recognize something that we needed to update,” Hammock said.
The group will have its first quarterly meeting on Oct. 25 at 5:30 p.m. at Sumiton’s Community Center. Any interested business owners can attend the meeting for more information or call 205-648-3261.