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REDLANDS: City warns of phony fire inspectors

22 Mar

Beware of phony fire inspectors, Redlands city officials are warning local businesses.
“Recently individuals identifying themselves as fire inspectors have entered local businesses requesting access to private rooms and offices and conducted alleged inspections,” city spokesman Carl Baker said in a written statement. “Once the inspection … is done, the inspector requests immediate payment from a business owner or, in some cases, sends an invoice to be returned with payment to a post office box.”
To spot a phony, officials say:
Look for a uniform, badge and fire engine. Most legitimate fire inspectors wear a blue uniform with a fire department patch on the left shoulder and a metal badge above the left pocket. Fire personnel always arrive in a fire engine, paramedic squad or city vehicle with a logo on the door – not a private car.
Be suspicious of anyone who requests or collects money. Redlands Fire Department conducts annual business inspections, but the owners are billed. And the bills are sent on city or department letterhead.
Legitimate inspectors sometimes make unannounced visits. But they all carry a city-issued photo identification card. And no on-duty fire personnel will conduct any repair, service, or changes to fire extinguishers or other fire protection equipment. Such work must be done by licensed persons who’ve been hired or entered into a contract with the business owner and should never show up unannounced.
If in doubt, call the Redlands fire Department at 909-798-7600.

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