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


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

Fireworks Stand Regulations and Safety Tips

OSFM | Jun 26, 2015
Summer is well underway and the Independence Holiday celebrations involving fireworks is right around the corner. During this busy time of year there are always questions or concerns that come up. Below we have compiled some helpful reminders for questions we frequently get regarding fireworks:

Our office does not regulate the days that fireworks are allowed to be discharged. Local jurisdictions may set discharge dates as they see fit for their area. Our regulations do set the days that they may be sold. Per KAR 22-6-5, “Sale days permitted. A seasonal retailer shall not sell fireworks, except during the fireworks season. The fireworks season shall be the period beginning on June 27 and ending on July 5 of each calendar year.”


There are 6 types of permits that our office issues regarding fireworks:
• Manufacturer Permit
• Distributor Permit
• Hobbyist Manufacturer Permit
• Display Operator Permit
• Proximate Pyrotechnic Permit
• Storage Permit (for Display Fireworks only)

Anyone involved in the retail sales of fireworks, upon request or inspection, must provide the Kansas Distributor Permit information from whom they purchased the fireworks. Enclosed is a copy of the inspection sheet our office uses for firework stands.

Our office will be collecting firework injury reports from area medical facilities. If a medical facility in your area has questions about this form they can contact our office.

Shooting Bottle Rockets in the State of Kansas is still illegal. However two years ago there were some changes made to the bottle rocket statute. Per KSA 31-507:

“(a) Except as provided in subsection (c):  (1) It shall be unlawful to sell, offer to sell, or to possess with intent to sell or offer for sale a bottle rocket; and (2) it shall be unlawful to ignite, fire, set off or otherwise use a bottle rocket.
(b) Any person violating the provisions of subsection (a) shall be guilty of an unclassified misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than $100.
(c) The provisions of this section shall not prohibit the possession, transportation or sale of bottle rockets within Kansas by a person that is currently registered with the state fire marshal pursuant to section 6, and amendments thereto, to another currently registered person or to a non-registered person provided the non-registered purchaser submits a certification for resale outside the state of Kansas to the registered seller on a form prescribed by the state fire marshal. The registered seller shall send the certification to the office of the state fire marshal and maintain a copy of the certification for one year from the date of sale.
(d) ‘‘Bottle rocket’’ means any pyrotechnic device which: (1) Is classified as a class C explosive by the United States department of transportation under 49 C.F.R. § 173.53 (1990); (2) is mounted on a stick or wire; and (3) projects into the air when ignited, with or without reports, and includes any device with the same configuration, with or without reports, which may be classified as a pipe or trough rocket. ‘‘Bottle rocket’’ does not include helicopter-type rockets.”

If you have any incidents of illegal fireworks, display operators conducting shoots without permits or explosions, please do not hesitate to call the Investigation Division for assistance. If you have any questions or concerns, contact the Investigations Division at (785) 296-8984 or carolyn.lowry@ksfm.ks.gov.

The staff of the Office of the State Fire Marshal wishes each of you a safe Fourth of July!