Beware of Phony Fire Inspectors
People fraudulently representing the fire department may try to perform business inspections and then sell and install equipment. Avoid being victimized!
You can confirm whether or not an inspector is authentic by contacting the Escondido Fire Department administration office at 760-839-5400 during regular business hours or the Police Department non-emergency number, 760-839-4722 after hours.
Fraudulent Fire Inspectors:
- May dress in dark blue pants and T-shirts that look like the ones firefighters wear (like the one below) or state that they have been sent to conduct an inspection of a business by the Fire Department or the Fire Marshal. They may even mention names of actual Fire Department inspectors in order to seem more legitimate. Please know that official representatives of the Escondido Fire Department wear dark blue uniforms with badges and shoulder patches and drive official city vehicles. Firefighters will always be in full uniforms during business inspections. Fire Marshal staff may wear a regular uniform shirt or a polo style shirt with the Fire Department logo and a badge clipped to their belt. Escondido Fire Department employees will always have a badge and official City of Escondido identification cards. Fire Department employees will not hesitate to show this identification upon request. The Escondido Fire Department NEVER uses private companies to conduct business inspections.
- Often show up unexpectedly and say that they were sent by the Fire Department to complete routine servicing of fire extinguishing or suppression equipment. They may insist on installing equipment and/or signage that is actually not required or charge for servicing fire extinguishers without performing the work properly. Escondido Fire Department employees only perform inspections and they are not authorized to repair or replace fire equipment or to recommend companies that service or sell equipment.
- Will request immediate payment once they are finished. They will either request cash, or in some cases, send an invoice to be returned with payment to a post office box. The City of Escondido Fire Department does not accept cash and will always create an invoice with our business address (1163 N. Centre City Parkway). Payment for inspection fees can be made through our payment portal or by check or money order.
If you encounter a suspected fraudulent "fire inspector":
Anyone who offers - or demands - to inspect your business but does not use Escondido Fire Department procedures should not be confronted. Instead, call the Escondido Police Department at 760-839-4722 immediately. If the person has left or leaves before a police officer arrives, be ready to provide a description of the person and any other pertinent information. If unsure whether or not to contact the Police Department, err on the side of caution and make the call.
If your business was contacted by someone who may have been fraudulently misrepresenting himself or herself, the incident should be reported to the Escondido Fire Department at 760-839-5400.
If you can help identify a person or persons who may be fraudulently representing the Fire Department, please contact the Police Department directly or make an anonymous call to the Police Department's "Anonymous Tip Line" at 760-743-TIPS (8477).