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Fire Inspector  What They Do

Just the Facts


Inspects buildings and equipment to detect fire hazards. Enforces state and local regulations.

This career is part of the Law, Public Safety, Corrections and Security cluster Emergency and Fire Management Services pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Inspects buildings to locate hazardous conditions and fire code violations, such as accumulations of combustible material, electrical wiring problems, and inadequate or non-functional fire exits.
  • Identifies corrective actions necessary to bring properties into compliance with applicable fire codes, laws, regulations, and standards, and explains these measures to property owners or their representatives.
  • Presents and explains fire code requirements and fire prevention information to architects, contractors, attorneys, engineers, developers, fire service personnel, and the general public.
  • Attends training classes to maintain current knowledge of fire prevention, safety, and firefighting procedures.
  • Conducts fire code compliance follow-ups to ensure that corrective actions have been taken in cases where violations were found.
  • Writes detailed reports of fire inspections performed, fire code violations observed, and corrective recommendations offered.
  • Inspects properties that store, handle, and use hazardous materials to ensure compliance with laws, codes, and regulations, and issues hazardous materials permits to facilities found in compliance.
  • Develops or reviews fire exit plans.
  • Inspects and tests fire protection or fire detection systems to verify that such systems are installed in accordance with appropriate laws, codes, ordinances, regulations, and standards.
  • Conducts inspections and acceptance testing of newly installed fire protection systems.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposure to pollutants, gases, dust, fumes, odors, poor ventilation, etc.
  • Lighting is either extremely bright or inadequate
  • Conditions are very hot (above 90 F) or very cold (under 32 F)
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation requires being outside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Identifying color and seeing differences in color, including shades and brightness
  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Overtime work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Deputy Fire Marshal -- Assists the Fire Marshal in investigations, inspections and public fire education programs and enforces city and state fire and safety laws.
  • Firefighter -- Responds to fire alarms and other emergency calls to control and extinguish fires, protect life and property, and conduct rescue efforts.
  • Fire Alarm Inspector --