Fire Plans Examiner (Plan Checking Engineer)

City of Palo Alto
September 15, 2023
Palo Alto, CA
Job Type



Purpose of Classification: The Fire Plan Examiner reviews construction plans for compliance with various Federal, State building/fire codes, regulations, and local municipal codes; explains various requirements to architects, engineers, contractors, and homeowners; coordinates the review of construction documents with various City departments and other governmental agencies.

This position is part of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and reports to the Fire Marshall.

Essential Duties
Essential and other important responsibilities and duties may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Manage, coordinate, reviews, and participates in the review and examination of construction documents for residential, commercial, industrial, and wildland interface building construction and alterations; ensure that plans and specifications comply with fire/life safety codes and regulations.
  • Confers with homeowners, builders, engineers, and architects to give and obtain information and interpret fire codes and regulations; recommends necessary changes to obtain compliance with applicable codes and regulations.
  • Provides outstanding customer service at the Development Center public counter by answering construction, engineering, or code-related questions; providing over-the-counter plan checks and completing special assignments as needed to maintain the Fire Department's mission statement.
  • Attends development review meetings to monitor the status of proposed and active special projects.
  • Establishes occupant loads, building types, and fire hazards to determine what levels of active/passive fire protection features will be required and what degree of Federal, State building/fire codes, regulations, local municipal codes, and field inspections will be required.
  • Prepares correspondence to architects, engineers, and contractors relating to the correction of plans and engineering detail, and initiates notifications of code violations.
  • Prepares and conducts training programs for plan check, inspection, and counter personnel.
  • Responds to inquiries and other communication from the public via phone, email, or other means and provide timely, responsive, friendly, and helpful detailed service. Assist Fire Inspectors with technical guidance in the field on existing and new occupancies and facilities.

Related Functions:

  • Keeps current on construction technological advances and revisions to fire codes.
  • Perform related duties and responsibilities as required.

To review the full Job Description, Click Here.
Minimum Qualifications

Sufficient education, training, and/or work experience to demonstrate possession of the following knowledge, skills, and abilities which would typically be acquired through:

  • College graduate with a degree in civil engineering or architecture desirable. and
  • Experience in structural design, building construction plan review, and/or any combination thereof.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Ability to maintain physical condition appropriate to the performance of assigned duties and responsibilities which may include sitting for extended periods of time, walking construction sites with uneven surfaces, climbing ladders, inspecting open trenches, and operating assigned equipment and vehicles.
  • Ability to communicate with others and to assimilate and understand information in a manner consistent with the essential job functions.
  • Ability to make sound decisions in a manner consistent with the essential job functions.

The City of Palo Alto is an Equal Opportunity Employer. In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, the City will provide reasonable accommodation to qualified individuals with disabilities and encourages both prospective and current employees to discuss potential accommodations with the employer.

The City of Palo Alto offers its employees a generous benefit package, featuring family medical coverage, retirement, life insurance, plus 12 paid holidays per year.

  • Participation in a Governmental 457 Deferred Compensation Plan
  • Fully paid employee and dependent Dental Plan
  • Fully paid employee and dependent Vision Plan
  • Fully paid Life and AD&D insurance equal to annual salary
  • Flat Rate City paid medical contribution which may allow employees to select a fully paid health plan
  • Fully paid Life Insurance equal to one-times annual salary
  • Voluntary Supplemental Life Insurance
  • Long Term Disability plan
  • 12 annual paid holidays
  • Two to five weeks vacation annually depending on years of service per MOA
  • 96 hours annual sick leave
  • Direct Deposit
  • Flexible Spending Account for Healthcare and Childcare expenses

Public Employees' Retirement System (PERS)

  • 2% at60 formula for Classic Employees
  • One-year final compensation for 2% at 60 employees
  • 2% at 62 formula for New CalPers Members
  • Three-year final compensation for 2% at 62 employees only
  • Retiree Medical benefits for employee and dependents after 10 years of service

Please note: The City does not participate in CA State Disability Insurance (SDI) or Social Security.Since they City does not participate in SDI, City employees are not eligible to claim against the State's Pregnancy Disability Leave or Paid Family Leave programs.

Closing Date/Time: 9/27/2023 11:59 PM Pacific

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