Arson FAQs

FAQ Index


    Who can call for an OSFM Arson Investigation?

    ​​​​OSFM Arson Investigators are dispatched by the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA). IEMA receives requests for arson investigators from fire departments or law enforcement agencies. Only these agencies can request an arson investigator from OSFM.​

    How do I become an Arson Investigator?

    ​​​​Arson Investigators receive extensive and continued training. To become a certified arson investigator through the Office of the State Fire Marshal, you are required to complete the Fire Investigator Modules 1 and 2. Firefighter II Certification is also required. (Law Enforcement Officers may take a Bypass examination in lieu of Firefighter II Certification)

    Why do Arson Investigators wear weapons?

    Arson Investigators are sworn peace officers by Illinois State Statute and as such may carry weapons while in the actual investigation and matters incident thereto. The statute may be found in the Illinois Compiled Statutes Act 2910/1.​​​​

    When should an OSFM Arson Investigator be called?

    An OSFM Arson Investigator should be called when:​​​​

    • There is a death or serious injury, especially if it involves a firefighter or police officer.
    • The property involved incurs a large dollar loss.
    • The property involved is state property, federal property, or school property.
    • Local authorities cannot determine the cause and/or origin of the fire.
    • Conducting the investigation by local authorities may be or could be considered a conflict of interest.
    • Other unusual circumstances exist.

    What should I do if I know a child who is playing with fire?

    If you need assistance with a juvenile firesetter call 1-800-634-0911.​​​​