Salary and Outlook
According to the US Department of Labor, there are 15,500 people employed as fire inspectors and investigators in
the United States.
The median annual salary is $64,600.
Entry level employees earn approximately $40,190 per year and senior employees earn approximately $100,730
Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.
- 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.
- Instruct children about the dangers of fire.
- 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.
- Subpoena and interview witnesses, property owners, and building occupants to obtain information and sworn testimony.
- Conduct internal investigation to determine negligence and violation of laws and regulations by fire department employees.
- Test sites and materials to establish facts, such as burn patterns and flash points of materials, using test equipment.
- Dust evidence or portions of fire scenes for latent fingerprints.
- 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.
- Supervise staff, training them, planning their work, and evaluating their performance.
- Develop and coordinate fire prevention programs, such as false alarm billing, fire inspection reporting, and hazardous materials management.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Teach fire investigation techniques to other firefighter personnel.
- Conduct fire exit drills to monitor and evaluate evacuation procedures.
- Teach public education programs on fire safety and prevention.
- Recommend changes to fire prevention, inspection, and fire code endorsement procedures.