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

Tips for Safe Use of Fireworks

User Not Found | May 15, 2013

Fireworks  Safety  Tips

 

  • Always read and follow label instructions.
  • Always purchase high quality fireworks from a reliable, legitimate source.
  • Alcohol and fireworks do not mix.  Have a “designated shooter.”
  • Never give fireworks to small children.
  • Adults should always supervise use of fireworks by older children.
  • Always wear eye protection when lighting fireworks.
  • Never ignite fireworks indoors.  Make sure your outdoor area is safe for firework use.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at a person, building, or animal.
  • Have a source of water handy, in case of fire.
  • Never shoot fireworks in metal or glass containers.
  • Light only one firework at a time.
  • Never attempt to re-light malfunctioning fireworks.
  • When lighting fireworks, never position any part of your body over them.
  • Never carry fireworks in your pocket.
  • Store fireworks in a cool, dry place.
  • Never experiment with homemade fireworks.  They are dangerous and illegal.
  • Bottle rockets and other skyrockets that are mounted on a stick or wire are illegal.
  • It is illegal to shoot fireworks on or under a vehicle, on any public roadway, within 50 feet of a firework stand or where fireworks are stored, and gas stations or any place liquid gas – including propane – is stored.

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