Fire Marshal's Office - Prevention Bureau Division

Fire Marshal's Office - Prevention Bureau Division

Fire Marshal's Office
Prevention Bureau

The Fire Prevention Bureau is commanded by Fire Marshal Charles Owen and is responsible for plans review, code enforcement, explosive escorts, fire inspections, and arson investigation. The fire marshal is designated by the fire chief as the authority having jurisdiction and is empowered by state statute and City of Tampa Code, Chapter 11.

The Tampa Fire Marshal's Office, through city charter, is responsible for the Investigation of cause and origin of fires and the mitigation of arson cases. The Fire Investigation Division investigates arson cases for the fire marshal in the City of Tampa. The Fire Investigation Division has five investigators, three on 24-hour shifts and two on a 40-hour work week.  An investigator is available any time of the day.

Fire investigators for the City of Tampa are required to be state certified firefighters, state certified fire safety inspectors and must complete a basic police recruit minimum standards program. The fire investigator responds to all fires in the City of Tampa where the cause is arson, suspicious, undetermined or when there has been a death or serious injury in a fire. The 24-hour investigator is responsible for determining the cause and origin of a fire. During a fire investigation the investigator is required to photograph the scene, collect evidence, interview witnesses, victims and owners. In the morning before leaving, the 24-hour investigator gives a case synopsis to the oncoming 24-hour investigator  who then takes over the case.  They are also on call for Arson Task Force fires (deaths and serious injuries caused by fires) and to assist the 24-hour investigator when needed. The 24-hour investigator also performs after hours fire safety inspections, provides explosive escorts and cites fire lane violations when needed. The Tampa Fire Investigation Division has been very successful in arson Investigation. They have maintained a high clearance rate (cases brought to a successful or satisfactory end) and several years in a row have had the highest clearance rate in the Nation.

The Fire Marshal oversees the following divisions:

New Construction Division - Plans examination and inspection of new construction projects

Existing Construction Division - Periodic inspections of existing structures, complaint investigations

Fire/Arson Investigations Division - Origin and cause investigation of fires

Referenced Codes and Ordinances -Applicable laws, Administrative rules, safety codes and city ordinances in force for the City of Tampa