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

State Fire Marshal policy now better enables non-profits to cash in on fireworks

OSFM Public Information | Mar 30, 2017

Until now, in order for an organization to generate fund-raising revenue through fireworks sales, they were required to operate a licensed fireworks stand. This requirement prevented many organizations from selling fireworks because of the cost and manpower requirements of operating a fireworks stand. As of today, organizations can now take pre-orders of fireworks as a fundraiser as long as the pickup of the fireworks by the individual purchaser and not the fund raising group, occurs during the retail fireworks season of June 27 through July 5 as established by K.A.R. 22-6-5 or within the sale dates established by local ordinances.

Any organization considering taking advantage of this policy must order and purchase fireworks from a licensed Kansas retailer and orders will be picked up by the individual purchaser at the location of the participating retailer. For example, a softball team secures a discount arrangement with a local licensed retailer and puts together a flyer. They take orders for fireworks from their friends, family and neighbors, collect the payment and submit the order forms to the retailer to fulfill. The customers can then pick up the fireworks at the retailer’s fireworks stand anytime during the approved state or local municipality sale dates. No fireworks will be delivered.

Organizations considering fireworks as a fund-raiser should be aware there are numerous state, county and city rules and regulations governing the use, sale, storage and transportation of fireworks. The city and county ordinances can be more restrictive than state rules and regulations. This new policy amendment does not override any current state, city, or county statutes, rules, regulations or ordinances. Organizations should check with their local government authorities on rules that apply to their area.

The policy statement says “Policy statements cannot bind members of the public or employees of other municipal or state agencies. As a result, this interpretation of law does not allow the sale of fireworks in cities, counties, or other areas where the sale of fireworks is currently prohibited.”

The full “Policy Statement & Interpretation of Law” is available to be viewed in the Fireworks section of the agency’s website, FireMarshal.ks.gov.