KENNEWICK, Wash.- Kennewick City Council members say they want to hear from the business community before adopting a plan to expand its fire safety inspection program.
The city's inability to meet fire protection standards on 100 percent of all businesses and facilities is a problem, since the city is due for its next 15 year re-rating evaluation from the Washington Surveying and Rating Bureau in 2015.
Kennewick's Fire Marshall Mark Yaden says their current class four rating is expected to slip to five, unless fire prevention strategies are put into action.
Yaden says it comes down to annual inspection fees to fund a third inspector or an increase in fire insurance rates of up to 10-percent for residents and businesses.
"We're down to about one-point-two-five staffing dedicated to new construction projects and just the amount of growth of the city. We expect that from 1998, we're going to do worse in this category. There's enough in this category right now with deficiency points that can be the tipping point to force us into a class five rating," said Yaden.
The city plans to ask local businesses what they would prefer to do before adopting a fire safety inspection program that would require fire code permit and inspection fees.