The Office of the State Fire Marshal - Bureau of Investigations is responsible for investigating all fires, building collapses, and carbon monoxide releases, other than from automobiles, which cause death. In addition, the Office of the State Fire Marshal is required to assist any fire chief requesting assistance, and will also respond to requests from law enforcement agencies and from local government boards.
Programs and Sections
Fire & Explosion Investigations
The Fire Investigation Unit is comprised of two district chiefs and eight fire investigators. District Chiefs and Investigators are sworn police officers authorized to interview witnesses, collect evidence, make arrests, and appear in court as expert witnesses.
Accelerant Detection Canines (K-9)
Accelerant Detection canines can detect minute traces of ignitable liquids used in fires and can lead investigators to a specific location where physical samples can be taken for forensic laboratory analysis.
The Special Operations Section is part of the Bureau of Investigations and is
commanded by District Chief Thomas Riley. There is a description of each section below which will help you locate the
information you need. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to
contact us at 603-223-4289 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Haz-Mat Unit is operated by a Hazardous Materials Coordinator who
oversees and coordinates the response to hazardous materials incidents across
the state. There are nine regional hazardous materials teams that operate out of
various mutual aid compacts and dispatch centers around the state. The section
operates an emergency response vehicle with a vast array of resources to assist
the teams with detection, analysis, mitigation and command of hazardous
materials incidents. The section also conducts many outreach programs to
increase the awareness of certain fire and life hazards associated with the
handling, storage and use of hazardous chemicals and materials.
Fireworks Safety & Enforcement
The Fireworks Safety and Enforcement Unit is responsible for the enforcement of
all laws and codes relative to the manufacture, transportation, storage,
handling and use of pyrotechnics, display and consumer fireworks. This includes
the licensing and inspection of retail fireworks stores, inspecting display
fireworks events, and the permitting and inspection of pyrotechnic, flame and
special effects events. The unit consists of one full time investigator and two
part-time investigators. These investigators work closely with our local fire
and police departments on enforcement efforts across the state.
The Public Education Unit is responsible for developing and
distributing public education programs and information to various target
audiences. One successful outreach is the section's participation in the Remembering When™ program developed by the NFPA and the CDC.
This program incorporates a fire and fall prevention strategy for older adults
to allow them to stay safely in their own homes. This section also produces a
few publications on a regular basis. Safety Seconds is a short publication with
public education tips for the fire service to enhance their local programs.
Safety Educator is a publication that is designed for teachers to provide them
with tips and tools to incorporate fire and life safety ideas into their regular
The Data Analysis Unit consists of members of the bureau and the Administration
Bureau who collect and analyze emergency incident data submitted by local fire
departments. They operate the New Hampshire Fire Incident Reporting System
(NHFIRS) which is a part of the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS)
operated by the United States Fire Administration (USFA). The data is submitted
electronically by the local fire departments and is then transmitted up to the
National Fire Data Center (NFDC) operated by the USFA in Maryland. This data is
a critical tool in the toolbox for the division to use to direct fire prevention
efforts for the maximum efficiency.
To speak with the on-call Supervisor or request assistance from an Investigator or K-9 team after normal business hours, please call New Hampshire State Police Communications at (603) 223-4381.
The Office of the New Hampshire State Fire Marshal also maintains an Arson Hotline. This hotline is for citizens to report information which may be helpful in the resolution of suspected arson cases. All contacts to the Arson Hotline are strictly confidential.