Rockdale County Fire-Rescue (RCFR) officials are warning small business owners in the Conyers-Rockdale area of individuals fraudulently posing as fire inspectors to solicit money from these businesses for inspections. These fake fire safety inspectors go into businesses or small restaurants and claim they check fire extinguishers and sprinkler systems. Then, they do a quick inspection and ask for cash.
They frequently target foreign-owned businesses to take advantage of the owner's cultural differences and lack of knowledge of the legal system.
The imposters typically wear civilian clothing with a removable badge or ID and are not driving a fire department vehicle.
They will sometimes try to convince the business owner that they need a "pre-inspection" prior to the fire department inspection to prevent the fire department from shutting them down. They also might distribute safety brochures and booklets as part of the fees, but the information they provide is available online for free. They will also provide a certificate to make it look official.
The RCFR wants to make several points clear:
• RCFR never charges money for its inspections and cash is never accepted. People are encouraged to ask for the inspectors' identification or call the Fire Department at 770-278-8401.
• RCFR employees always wear uniforms, display proper credentials and drive department vehicles when on official business.
• RCFR only conducts fundraisers through boot drives.
Furthermore, annual and semi-annual inspections on fire protection systems are required, but all private fire extinguisher and sprinkler inspection contractors are licensed by the State of Georgia and their information can be found on the Georgia Insurance Commissioner's website. It is illegal to conduct these inspections without a State license.
Impersonating a firefighter or fire inspector is also against the law. Therefore, people are asked to call the police if they suspect an inspector may not be associated with the RCFR.
Please contact RCFR at (770-278-8401) or (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions about inspections, testing or maintenance contractors for fire and life safety systems for a business.