Fire inspectors held about 14,100 jobs in 2014. Fire inspectors and investigators held about 12,400 of those jobs, while forest fire inspectors and prevention specialists held the remaining 1,700 jobs. About 88 percent of all fire inspectors worked for state and local governments in 2014. A few also worked for insurance companies or attorneys' offices.
Fire inspectors work both in offices and in the field. In the field, inspectors examine public buildings, such as museums, and multifamily residential buildings, such as high-rise condominiums. They may also visit and inspect other structures, such as arenas and industrial plants. Investigators must visit the scene where a fire has occurred. They may be exposed to poor ventilation, smoke, fumes, and other hazardous agents.
Forest fire inspectors and prevention specialists check on outdoor installations and open land to assess the risk of fire in those places.
Injuries and Illnesses
Fire inspectors and investigators have a higher rate of injuries and illnesses than the national average. For example, it can be very dangerous to walk on unstable, fire-damaged structures. Also, inhaling fumes from a fire can result in adverse health issues.
When working in the field, inspectors and investigators often must wear protective clothing, such as boots, gloves, and a helmet.
Fire inspectors typically work during regular business hours, but investigators often work evenings, weekends, and holidays because they must be ready to respond when fires happen.