Fire marshals generally work for fire departments of local governments, though they may also be employed by other organizations, such as universities and corporations. Those who work for cities usually report to fire chiefs and must ensure that their organizations comply with local, state, and federal safety and environmental regulations. They may also serve as liaisons between their employers and local fire departments.
Fire marshals’ duties vary depending on the size of their fire station. They manage regulatory programs related to fire prevention and emergency preparedness and also enforce fire codes and investigate causes and origins of fires. Depending on the employer, some fire marshals may be sworn law enforcement officers, and employers often require that candidates were experienced firefighters in the past, as many fire marshals have been regular firefighters who were promoted from within.
Those in this position may need to attend various community events on behalf of their fire chief or employer and make presentations to inform the public of various fire dangers and causes. They also provide and attend fire department training regularly and must know how to perform CPR and other life-saving skills.
Employers may prefer candidates who have a bachelor's degree, but prior work experience and mental and physical fitness are essential for any fire marshal. Those in this position must also stay up-to-date with a variety of techniques and technology relevant to firefighting, as well as new fire codes, and excellent leadership, communication, and public relations skills are also important.
Fire Marshal Tasks
Conduct regular life safety inspections of community property, buildings and facilities.
Conduct investigation of all fire incidents. Determine the cause and origin of fires.
Maintain and enforce adherence to corporate Safety and Training policies.
Act as liaison to local fire departments, police departments, EMS, other agencies.
Review plans for fire and life safety code compliance and conduct associated acceptance testing of fire life safety systems.