A quick way to reach the Investigation division, is by sending an email to osfminv@ks.gov
Arson Hotline

Investigation

The Fire Investigation Division is charged with determining the origin and cause of fires throughout the State.  Fire investigators also serve as instructors for local fire departments and law enforcement agencies, collect evidence at fire scenes, collaborate with other state and federal agencies, conduct criminal investigations and provide public education.

Most Kansas fire departments and law enforcement agencies do not have a certified fire investigator on staff, and they will request our assistance when they suspect a fire had an incendiary cause, when fatality or serious injury occurs, and when property damage is severe.

When a determination is made that a fire was caused by arson, a careful and complete investigation will follow. In cooperation with local law enforcement officials and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, our investigators will completely evaluate the fire scene for evidence and conduct interviews.

Arson is a complex crime, sometimes committed as part of an insurance fraud; sometimes committed to conceal other crimes such as burglary, embezzlement or even homicide.

Fire Investigators with the OSFM are sworn law enforcement officers and carry out all aspects of criminal investigations, including the arrest and conviction of arsonists. The Investigation Division conducts polygraph examinations in relation to these criminal investigations.

The Investigation Division maintains investigative files and databases for investigations and both explosive and fireworks licensing. The division utilizes the NCIC system for background checks on all explosive and fireworks licensing applications. The Investigation Division works and cooperates with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE) and the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) in reference to investigations, data sharing, and licensing.

Fire Investigations

The Investigation Division provides experienced fire investigators to assist local fire departments and law enforcement agencies in the investigation of fires and explosions. This assistance is provided when a request is made by the local jurisdiction. Our fire investigators conduct criminal investigations when the incident is determined to be criminal in nature, such as arson.

This team also certifies fire investigators for local fire departments. This certification allows investigators to have law enforcement authority when conducting fire investigations. There are currently two certification levels: CFI I and CFI II.

Explosives and Fireworks

The Investigation Division deals with explosive and fireworks permits for the State of Kansas. Fire investigators are assigned to conducting storage site inspections and complaint-driven civil and criminal investigations. The investigators respond to pre- and post-blast incidents. Explosive safety, awareness, and investigative classes are conducted for both the public safety community and the private explosive industry.

Investigation News

Kansas Fireworks Act and Bottle Rockets

User Not Found | May 13, 2013

Senate Substitute for House Bill 2167 was signed into law by Governor Brownback on April 17, 2013. This law adds a number of administrative procedures to the Kansas Fireworks Act and relocates bottle rocket provisions that have been elsewhere in statute to the Kansas Fireworks Act. The section of HB 2167 that has generated the most questions to the Office of the State Fire Marshal, however, pertains to the selling of bottle rockets within the state – which had been completely banned since 1978.

What this bill does allow…

Under the new statute, fireworks wholesalers and manufacturers who are licensed by the Office of the State Fire Marshal may now possess, transport, and sell bottle rockets within Kansas to other registered fireworks dealers for resale out-of-state.

The purpose for this provision is that the Kansas fireworks industry has been at a competitive disadvantage with those based in neighboring states. Until now, should a fireworks dealer in Missouri, for example, want to buy bottle rockets from a wholesaler, they would want to conduct their business with wholesalers or manufacturers in states that allow the sale of bottle rockets. This impediment to Kansas-based fireworks dealers negatively impacted the sales for their entire product lines as retailers from other states could purchase all the products they wanted to buy for resale from companies in states other than Kansas.

What HB 2167 does not allow

The sale of bottle rockets to consumers and the use of bottle rockets by consumers in Kansas are still not allowed. Not only does this type of firework have a record of causing personal injury to users and by-standers alike, bottle rockets also present a significant fire hazard. When a bottle rocket detonates, the casing can burn from a few seconds up to a few minutes, causing fires that put property and lives at risk.

Reporting and licensing requirements of HB 2167

The registered seller or manufacturer of bottle rockets is required to notify the OSFM of all certifications for resale of bottle rockets to out-of-state businesses. The bill clarifies that Kansas registration is not required of any persons who purchase and transport bottle rockets for out-of-state resale, and that such persons are required to certify such intent to the seller.

The bill requires those dealers / distributers and manufactures that store bottle rockets in Kansas for the purpose of selling them to out-of-state customers to obtain the appropriate Bottle Rocket permit per statute and regulations.