Homeland Security and Emergency Services

inspections and investigations branch


The Fire Inspection and Investigation Branch is responsible for administering and managing four primary programs: inspection and enforcement of the Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code; fire and arson investigation; administration and enforcement of the world's first cigarette fire safety standard; and public fire safety education. Execution of these distinct, but synergistic areas is coordinated through the Branch's three principle groups: Fire Prevention; Fire & Arson Investigation and Fire Protection Engineering.

inspections and investigations branch

Fire & Arson Investigation Group

The Fire and Arson Investigation Group conducts fire investigations, including the use of accelerant detection canine teams. It also provides expertise and guidance to local fire investigation units through a technical assistance program; conducts basic and advanced fire / arson investigation training, and approves all applications by individuals seeking certification as a fire investigator. The Group coordinates the Arson Technical Work Group of the New York State Crime Laboratory Advisory Committee (NYCLAC) and administers the state Arson Laboratory Improvement Program (ALIP) designed to provide continual input and interaction between the fire investigation community and the forensic crime labs. This unit also operates the Burn Injury Reporting System, conducts property insurance loss registry checks and conducts arson criminal history checks relative to volunteer firefighter applications.

Fire Prevention Group

The Fire Prevention Group enforces the Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code at all colleges and universities and conducts fire inspections of an extensive and diverse inventory of state-owned and state-regulated facilities, including all properties owned and/or certified by the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities. The Group issues permits related to the use of fireworks, pyrotechnics and live-flame effects on all state owned property; administers and enforces the world's first cigarette fire safety standard; and provides technical expertise for code compliance and fire and life safety improvements. Furthermore, this team provides fire and life safety consultation and support for large event planning such as mass public gatherings. The Group additionally provides fire safety education and training to state employees, college and university staff and students as well as the general public, in addition to coordinating fire safety education efforts with fire departments, fire service organizations, state and local agencies and community groups. This unit also leads the State's Risk Watch child safety program.

News and Information

Press Releases


Forms and Documents




  • New York State Governor's Task Force on Campus Fire Safety
    Report, published July 2000, calls for new construction standards, annual inspections, and student safety training.
  • USFA Releases Fire Risk Reports (3/11)
    The Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has issued three special reports, part of its Topical Fire Research Series, examining the risk of death or injury from fire by various demographic, geographic, and socio-economic characteristics.
  • Report of the Fire, Building and Life Safety Code Applicability at the Riverview IRA (6/09)
    On Saturday March 21, 2009, a fire occurred in the Riverview Individualized Residential Alternative (IRA) operated by the Sunmount Developmental Disabilities Services Office (DDSO) and administered by the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD), known as the Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities (OMRDD) at the time of the report, that led to the death of four residents and injury to one resident and two staff members. OPWDD requested the New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control to conduct an independent review of the design, construction, code applicability and operational features of the IRA to ensure they met applicable fire and life safety codes and to verify operation of fire protection systems. This Report outlines the findings of that review with identified code violations, items warranting review and recommendations for future discussion and consideration.
  • Report of the New York City New York State Task Force on Building and Fire Safety (6/12)
    The State of New York and the City of New York worked together on the New York City/New York State Task Force on Building and Fire Safety, pursuant to Chapter 283 of the Laws of 2010, to examine the status of building and fire safety issues related to State property in the City. This collaboration resulted in the development of this Report with its finding and recommendations, as required by law. The Report addresses the code applicability, compliance and fire safety issues, related to State buildings in the City, intended to increase the safety of the public and firefighters and are the result of careful evaluation.