Fire Marshals Association of Minnesota - What is a Fire Marshal?

The title “Fire Marshal” refers to an individual hired by a municipality or appointed by a “Fire Chief” to manage the Fire Prevention Bureau with some or all the following duties:

  • Public Fire Safety Education. School programs, flyers, safety camp, fire station open house and other contacts with the public for educational purposes.
  • Code Enforcement. Adopt and enforce state and local ordinances to make their jurisdiction a safer place to live, work and play.
  • Fire Inspections. Follow up on complaints, inspect new occupancies and conduct fire and life safety inspections of existing buildings and their contents to reduce hazards.
  • Fire Investigation. Often called on to conduct fire investigations to determine where a fire started and what caused it. When fires are determined to have been intentionally set, the fire marshal becomes an “expert witness” preparing a case for prosecution.

The “Fire Marshal” is one of the most important positions in a Fire Department. In larger fire departments, he or she manages the Fire Prevention Bureau, also known as Community Risk Reduction.

Many jurisdictions also have “Fire Inspectors”, Fire Prevention Specialists”, “Plan Reviewers” or other titles for the men and women who work in the “Bureau.” We include all these fire prevention folks as our members as well as those who work for private companies.