Fire Marshal Office

Fire Inspections


While attending Virginia Fire Marshal Academy Inspector certification, Fire Inspectors receive rigorous training in:

  • Alarm SystemsOffice Photo
  • Building Construction
  • Building Construction Codes
  • Fire Protection Systems
  • State and Local Law related to Fire Safety Code Compliance

Inspection Locations

On an annual basis, Inspectors visit:

  • Businesses
  • Hotels
  • Industrial Facilities
  • Medical Facilities
  • Schools

They do this to ensure that protective safety systems such as fire alarm systems and portable extinguishers are in place and prepared to keep citizens safe.

Fire Investigations

Fire Investigators, employees of Portsmouth Fire, Rescue, and Emergency Service have complete authority to enforce state and local laws related to arson and environmental crimes. They are sworn law enforcement officers who have completed Virginia Fire Marshal Academy's Fire Investigator certification and Law Enforcement certification.


Fire Investigators are required to determine the cause and origin of all fires that take place in the city. They also investigate and prosecute arson, bombings and environmental cases within the courts.

Public Information Education & Relations (PIER)

PIER officers provide public fire and life safety education to citizens of all ages. They work closely with schools and other organizations to start this education as early as practical and continue with programs targeted to adults and elder citizens. 

PIER officers also create relationships with businesses, citizen groups, and government agencies to maximize use of time and fiscal resources and to increase the reach of educational programs.

Finally, the department Public Information Officer ensures that media outlets and our citizens are made aware of issues affecting public safety as well as important events happening within the department.