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Fire Inspectors and Investigators

Inspect buildings to detect fire hazards and enforce local ordinances and state laws, or investigate and gather facts to determine cause of fires and explosions.

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    Work Activities

    Work Activities

    • Prepare and maintain reports of investigation results, and records of convicted arsonists and arson suspects.
    • Testify in court cases involving fires, suspected arson, and false alarms.
    • Package collected pieces of evidence in securely closed containers, such as bags, crates, or boxes, to protect them.
    • Conduct inspections and acceptance testing of newly installed fire protection systems.
    • Analyze evidence and other information to determine probable cause of fire or explosion.
    • Subpoena and interview witnesses, property owners, and building occupants to obtain information and sworn testimony.
    • Photograph damage and evidence related to causes of fires or explosions to document investigation findings.
    • Examine fire sites and collect evidence such as glass, metal fragments, charred wood, and accelerant residue for use in determining the cause of a fire.
    • Inspect buildings to locate hazardous conditions and fire code violations, such as accumulations of combustible material, electrical wiring problems, and inadequate or non-functional fire exits.
    • Instruct children about the dangers of fire.
    • Conduct fire code compliance follow-ups to ensure that corrective actions have been taken in cases where violations were found.
    • Inspect properties that store, handle, and use hazardous materials to ensure compliance with laws, codes, and regulations, and issue hazardous materials permits to facilities found in compliance.
    • Write detailed reports of fire inspections performed, fire code violations observed, and corrective recommendations offered.
    • Conduct internal investigation to determine negligence and violation of laws and regulations by fire department employees.
    • Identify corrective actions necessary to bring properties into compliance with applicable fire codes, laws, regulations, and standards, and explain these measures to property owners or their representatives.
    • Test sites and materials to establish facts, such as burn patterns and flash points of materials, using test equipment.
    • Develop or review fire exit plans.
    • Inspect and test fire protection or fire detection systems to verify that such systems are installed in accordance with appropriate laws, codes, ordinances, regulations, and standards.
    • Coordinate efforts with other organizations, such as law enforcement agencies.
    • Attend training classes to maintain current knowledge of fire prevention, safety, and firefighting procedures.
    • Review blueprints and plans for new or remodeled buildings to ensure the structures meet fire safety codes.
    • Dust evidence or portions of fire scenes for latent fingerprints.
    • Teach fire investigation techniques to other firefighter personnel.
    • Arrange for the replacement of defective fire fighting equipment and for repair of fire alarm and sprinkler systems, making minor repairs such as servicing fire extinguishers when feasible.
    • Issue permits for public assemblies.
    • Conduct fire exit drills to monitor and evaluate evacuation procedures.
    • Supervise staff, training them, planning their work, and evaluating their performance.
    • Teach public education programs on fire safety and prevention.
    • Develop and coordinate fire prevention programs, such as false alarm billing, fire inspection reporting, and hazardous materials management.
    • Recommend changes to fire prevention, inspection, and fire code endorsement procedures.


    • Active Listening

      Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

    • Critical Thinking

      Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.

    • Speaking

      Talking to others to convey information effectively.


    Applied Math
    Workplace Documents
    Graphic Literacy


    • Problem Sensitivity

      The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.

    • Flexibility of Closure

      The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.

    • Inductive Reasoning

      The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).


    • Public Safety and Security

      Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.

    • Building and Construction

      Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.

    • Customer and Personal Service

      Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

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    Ohio Employment Trends

    • Currently Employed 340
    • Yearly Projected Openings 30

    Typical Education


    Realistic: People interested in this work like activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions.They do well at jobs that need:
    • Integrity
    • Cooperation
    • Attention to Detail
    • Dependability
    • Initiative
    • Adaptability/Flexibility


    • Tablet computers
    • Screwdrivers
    • Levels
    • Fire suppression system
    • Fire extinguishers


    • Internet browser software
    • Human resources software
    • Electronic mail software
    • Data base user interface and query software
    • Analytical or scientific software


    • Apprenticeships are available for this occupation. These programs can help you get hands-on experience and build your skills.
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    Workforce Supply Tool

    Workforce Supply Tool

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