Fire Department

Fire Prevention


The Bureau of Fire Prevention is that part of the Lake Charles Fire Department which provides fire prevention services to the community through fire plan reviews, fire suppression tests, and fire and life safety inspections, fire investigations, public education and official records management.

The mission of the Lake Charles Bureau of Fire Prevention is to protect human life, property and the environment from fire. Our inspectors regularly inspect the premises of various occupancies within the Ward 3 metro area. We are also responsible for constantly updating and upgrading fire codes as needed. Inspectors perform code enforcement reviews, plan reviews and fire scene investigations to determine cause and nature of fires and participate in safety awareness programs.
The duties of the Bureau of Fire Prevention include the enforcement of all laws and ordinances covering the prevention of fires; the storage, shipping and use of explosives; the storage, shipping and dispensing, and use of flammable liquids; the storage. use or handling of hazardous materials, substances and devices; the installation and maintenance of automatic sprinklers, standpipes and fire alarm systems; and the adequacy of exits and emergency lighting in all occupancies.
Code Inspection Division
The Code Inspection Division provides the first line of defense in preventing fires, by ensuring the enforcement of fire codes. Inspectors with the Lake Charles Bureau of Fire Prevention are responsible for performing annual inspections to ensure compliance with the International Fire Safety Codes and NFPA-101 standards. These inspections ensure that all fire alarms and fire suppression systems are in working order. They inspect emergency lighting, emergency exits and fire doors.

ISO mandates annual inspections at nursing homes, hospitals day cares centers, high target areas (places of assembly), assisted living facilities and other mandated locations, all educational occupancies, public and private schools, and elementary through high school.

Current records indicate there are more than 5,000 occupancies within the City limits of Lake Charles and even more occupancies are located within Ward 3. New occupancies are found each week that require code enforcement inspections.

Fire Investigation Division

The Fire Investigation Division is responsible for investigating fires to determine origin and cause, whether the cause was accidental or incendiary. A quality investigation program provides a good deterrence to intentionally set fires/explosions within the jurisdiction. The identification and prosecution of arsonists is important in reducing loss of life and property through preventing intentionally set fires/explosions.

Public Education

Public Education is a major part of our fire prevention effort. We provide safety information and fire extinguisher training to schools, day cares, businesses and hospitals and civic and community organization using several different programs.

In our continuing effort to educated young people of the importance of fire safety and prevention, members of the Fire Prevention Bureau participated in numerous workshops and went to 34 area schools during Fire Prevention Week, nearly 6,000 students. We have continued our fire safety awareness program with juveniles through the Juvenile Fire Setter Program.

Juvenile Fire Setter Program

The Juvenile Fire Setter program is designed to educate and teach juveniles the danger of playing with fire and the consequences of these actions. The Bureau works with at-risk juveniles to prevent juvenile-related fires and injuries and death.

Smoke Detector Program

The Smoke Detector program is another arm of our fight in fire prevention is our smoke detection program to provide smoke detectors to senior citizens and others who have a need for them. Statistics show that in 2003, 93% of Lake Charles residents who experienced a fire did not have a working smoke detector in their home. Through proper education, both fires and injuries can be prevented.

The goal of the Lake Charles Bureau of Fire Prevention is to provide adequate education, inspection and investigation programs to make Lake Charles a safer place in which to live and work. The roles and responsibilities of the Bureau of Fire Prevention are established in Ordinance 13575 adopting the 2003 International Codes which were adopted in 2006. Prior to this, the City had been under a Standard Fire Prevention Code. Many changes have taken place since the adoption of these codes.

Contact Us

Wayne Rigmaiden,
Chief of Fire Prevention

  • Phone: (337) 491-1368
  • Fax: (337) 491-8608
  • Staff Directory
  • Office Hours:
    8:00 am - 4:30 pm

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