San Jose's fire department is short staffed, leading to a backlog in fire inspections for new buildings, a recent audit found.
Vacancies in engineering and inspection positions, which are key to getting buildings up to fire code, have increased since 2015. According to the report, the city at one point had 20 vacant engineering positions within the Fire Development Services division.
By the end of July 2020 just one engineering position was left vacant, according to the audit. Even so, 2020 had the highest number of vacancies in five years, highlighting ongoing staffing troubles within the fire department. The shortage could spell trouble for construction in a city desperate to boost its economy with new development projects and the tax revenue they generate.