People fraudulently representing the fire department are performing business inspections or improperly repairing or installing equipment. Avoid being victimized -- to confirm whether or not an inspector is authentic, contact the Escondido Fire Department Administration 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 (as shown here) 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.
Official representatives of the Escondido Fire Department wear dark blue uniforms with badges and shoulder patches and drive official city vehicles bearing the Seal of the City of Escondido.
Escondido Fire Department employees carry official City of Escondido identification cards that include the word “Fire” on the front. They do not hesitate to show this identification if asked.
The Escondido Fire Department NEVER uses private companies to conduct business inspections.
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.
Fire Department employees provide inspection services only and are not authorized to repair or replace fire equipment or to recommend companies that service or sell equipment.
Once the inspection or servicing is finished, request immediate payment for cash, or in some cases, send an invoice to be returned with payment to a post office box.
Cash is not accepted at your business and checks or money orders must be made payable to the City of Escondido. All invoices related to Escondido Fire Department inspections bear the City of Escondido name and address, 1163 N. Centre City Parkway.
Ask you to sign an “inspection form” but not leave a copy of it, saying that it will be mailed. Some time later, you could receive an invoice for an over-priced inspection in the mail with your signature cut and pasted in.
Following an Escondido Fire Department inspection, a copy of the inspection form is always left with someone at your business.
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, in the past, 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).