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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.
    • Conduct internal investigation to determine negligence and violation of laws and regulations by fire department employees.
    • Write detailed reports of fire inspections performed, fire code violations observed, and corrective recommendations offered.
    • 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.
    • Conduct fire exit drills to monitor and evaluate evacuation procedures.
    • Issue permits for public assemblies.
    • 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.

    Skills

    • 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.

    WorkKeys®

    Applied Math
    4
    Workplace Documents
    5
    Graphic Literacy
    4

    Abilities

    • 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 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).

    Knowledge

    • 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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    Pay

    • Ohio Annual Salary 58670/yr
    • Typical Salary
    • Ohio Hourly Wage 28.21/hr
    • Typical Hourly Wage

    Ohio Employment Trends

    • Currently Employed 340
    • Yearly Projected Openings 30

    Typical Education

    Personality

    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

    Tools

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

    Technology

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

    Tags

    • Bright Outlook occupations will grow rapidly in the next few years, have a large number of openings, or are new and emerging careers.
    • Apprenticeships are available for this occupation. These programs can help you get hands-on experience and build your skills.
    Need help on researching occupations and careers? Download the Guide to Researching Occupations (PDF).

    Need help on how to research education and training programs? Download the Guide to Higher Education (PDF).

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    Workforce Supply Tool

    Workforce Supply Tool

    The Workforce Supply Tool provides statistics for the occupations in highest demand throughout Ohio.

    You can view statewide statistics as well as more region specific information.

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