Defensible Space Certification Assembly Bill 38 (AB-38)

AB-38 Defensible Space Inspections and Compliance Reports for Real Estate Transactions in High or Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone.

What is required by AB-38:
On or after July 1, 2021, when you sell a property that is in a High or Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone (FHSZ), you will need documentation of a compliant Defensible Space Inspection (DSI).  Please note that the AB-38 provisions are for real estate transaction disclosure and documentation only.

What are Defensible Space standards?
The defensible space standards in Escondido Fire's jurisdiction can be found on our Property Review Checklist

Is my property located within the jurisdictional responsibility of the Escondido Fire Department (EFD) and how do I determine in which Fire Hazard Severity Zone my property is located?

The Escondido Fire Department is responsible for inspections of properties in the city of Escondido and within the Rincon Del Diablo Fire Protection District. Use the Parcel Lookup Tool below to enter your property address or APN. Once your property is found, scroll down and click on "Fire Hazard Info" and the Fire Severity Zone will be listed. If the "Fire District" says "Escondido" or "Rincon" then the property is within EFD's jurisdiction. If not, then you need to contact the appropriate fire jurisdiction.

If your property is not within the jurisdictional boundaries of EFD, STOP.  You need to contact the jurisdiction responsible for your property.

If your property is not located in High or Very High FHSZ, STOP.  You are not subject to the requirements of AB-38.

What is a DSI Compliance Report?

A copy of the completed compliance inspection report that shows proof the property has been inspected and has passed that inspection, within six (6) months prior to entering a sales contract.

How do I request an AB-38 DSI?
To request a DSI for AB-38 compliance, please use our portal to create an account, pay for and request an inspection. Upon completion of the inspection a compliance report will be provided. A certification letter will be provided when the property passes inspection.


When will the DSI take place?
Once a DSI inspection request has been made, the Fire Department will contact the requestor normally within 2 to 3 business days to make the DSI appointment.  Defensible Space Inspections are normally conducted during regular business hours 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday and can take 7 to 10 days from the request date to conduct.

What happens if the property does not pass the inspection?
A deficiency report will be issued indicating the items to be corrected to pass the DSI. Once all issues are corrected, the property owner will need to request a re-inspection through the portal.