Prevention Bureau

The Fire Prevention Bureau was established by the Battle Creek City Commission as a division of the Battle Creek Fire Department (BCFD) in 1975. The Bureau is located inside Fire Station 1, 195 East Michigan Avenue.

The functions of the Bureau are defined by ordinance and include coordinating fire investigations, fire prevention inspections, and fire safety programs. Details of these 3 functions are described as:
  1. Investigations
  2. Inspections
  3. Fire Safety
  4. Other Services
Fire Investigations
  1. A preliminary fire investigation is conducted by the incident commander or delegated to an officer, prior to requesting a fire investigator (unless there are extenuating circumstances). The primary purpose of the preliminary investigation is to determine if the fire was accidental or intentional. If the cause is ruled accidental, then the case is closed and the only documentation is the incident report. If the cause is undetermined, then the cause is reported as "undetermined" on small fires and a fire investigator is called for all fires that are not small. If the cause is ruled intentional, then a patrol officer and crime tech investigate small fires and a fire investigator is called for all fires that are not small.
  2. A fire investigator determines the fire cause when fire officers cannot and also provides the appropriate documentation for arson cases. Arson fires are only referred to the detective bureau after the fire investigator determines a viable suspect and provides an investigative report substantiating the act of arson.
  3. This fire investigation protocol allows the BCFD to obtain warrants in about 10 arson fires per year. The BCFD routinely determines the cause and origin of about 99% of all fires with losses over $1,000.