The State Fire Marshall

Does seeing this title in your inbox create stress and anxiety? If so, you’re not alone.

We know working in California’s onerous regulatory environment can result in additional time, $, and frustration, and interacting with the Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) is no exception. As a result of these challenges and a receptiveness from OSFM’s current leadership, AIA California is part of a coalition formed with AGC (General Contractors) and CMAA (Construction Managers) that meets regularly with OSFM’s leadership team with a goal of improving the processes for plan review and approval, and inspection done by the State Fire Marshal.

We’ve heard repeatedly how these processes and the culture in which they operate have not been conducive to collaboration, constructive criticism, and continuous improvement. We know, as professionals, you are also committed to improving their work and are engaged in professional development and credentialing in order to improve submissions and field control. And we’re all committed to creating buildings that ensure the safety of occupants and first responders.

This working group is making headway – and by all accounts, the culture within OSFM is changing– albeit not as quickly as you might like it to. Organizational change at an agency the size of the OSFM, with offices throughout the entire state, takes time. The senior leadership of this office under the helm of new State Fire Marshal, Daniel Berlant, has been receptive and attentive to the concerns of our industry, and are striving to make changes to improve the culture and processes of this organization.

We understand your frustration; we are part of the process to affect change, and we are working on your behalf, advocating for change.

Want to help make the case? What’s the one, single thing we can do to reduce your frustration with this agency? I look forward to hearing from you.

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