New York City Fire Department

Bureau of Fire Investigation

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I speak to an FDNY Fire Marshal about suspicious fires in my neighborhood?

If I want to speak to a Fire Marshal, should I dial 311 or is there a direct phone number?

Can I speak in confidence with a Fire Marshal about concerns I have regarding suspicious fire activity in my building or another building near where I live?

Should I call a Fire Marshal when I think a fire was intentionally set by somebody? Does this include a car fire, a store fire or a fire in my building where I live?

If I see a fire happening and I think it is suspicious, should I call 911, 311 or a FDNY Fire Marshal?

If I suspect a landlord is setting fires to force people to move in my building or my neighborhood, should I call the Fire Marshals?

Are the Fire Marshals available 24 hours a day? 7 Days a week?

If I speak with a Fire Marshal, do I also have to speak to the NYPD?

Can I email Fire Marshals instead of calling them about suspected fire arson activity?

How many fires are investigated a year by the New York City Fire Department?

How many Fire Marshals are there in the FDNY Bureau of Fire Investigation?

How can I become a Fire Marshal in the New York City Fire Department?


How can I speak to an FDNY Fire Marshal about suspicious fires in my neighborhood?
CALL US at our direct phone number: (718) 722-3600. Someone is available 24/7/365.
You can report illegal fire activity, the purchase or illegal use of fireworks, or any fire you suspect is arson. All calls are kept strictly confidential.

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If I want to speak to a Fire Marshal, should I dial 311 or is there a direct phone number?
FDNY Fire Marshals can be directly reached (718) 722-3600. If you call or leave information at the City’s general information hotline 311, it will be forwarded to us. A Fire Marshal will return you call.

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Can I speak in confidence with a Fire Marshal about concerns I have regarding suspicious fire activity in my building or another building near where I live?
Yes. Fire Marshals investigate any and all fire activity suspected to be intentionally set.

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Should I call a Fire Marshal when I think a fire was intentionally set by somebody? Does this include a car fire, a store fire or a fire in my building where I live?
Yes. By calling the FDNY Bureau of Fire Investigation, a Fire Marshal will take the information and investigate all matters dealing with suspicious fires in your community.

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If I see a fire happening and I think it is suspicious, should I call 911, 311 or a FDNY Fire Marshal?
Call 911 immediately. Your call will be redirected to a New York City Fire Department dispatcher as a fire emergency. Fire Companies will then be quickly dispatched to save anyone trapped by the fire and to put the fire out.  Also when calling 911, tell the Fire dispatcher that you suspect the fire was intentionally set; the dispatcher will relay this information to the firefighters dispatched to the scene and to Marshals in the Bureau of Fire Investigation.

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If I suspect a landlord is setting fires to force people to move in my building or my neighborhood, should I call the Fire Marshals?
Yes. All fires that can be considered suspicious or being set as an arson should be reported to the FDNY Bureau of Fire Investigation.

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Are the Fire Marshals available 24 hours a day? 7 Days a week?
Someone is available 24/7/365. If for any reason you have to leave a message (the Fire Marshals maybe out on a call), a Fire Marshal will call you back.

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If I speak with a Fire Marshal, do I also have to speak to the NYPD?
Fire Marshals have law-enforcement powers in New York City. On matters dealing with illegal fire activity or arson, Fire Marshals serve as “police officers”. They have legal authority to conduct investigations and to make arrests. Investigators with the FDNY Bureau of Fire Investigation will involve the NYPD when and if necessary. FDNY Fire Marshals often work closely with NYPD detectives to resolve crimes involving arson or illegal fire acitivities.

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Can I email Fire Marshals instead of calling them about suspected fire arson activity?
No. At this time, we prefer taking direct calls from members of the public. This better insures that we get the information and act on it quickly.

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How many fires are investigated a year by the New York City Fire Department?
The most recent FDNY Annual Report counted 6118 Cases Investigated by BFI Fire Marshals citywide. They determined that there were 2252 Incendiary Fires resulting in 581 Arrests.

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How many Fire Marshals are there in the FDNY Bureau of Fire Investigation?
There are 120 Fire Marshals operating out of three borough-based offices and one central office at FDNY Headquarters. BFI’s three borough-based offices cover all five boroughs.

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How can I become a Fire Marshal in the New York City Fire Department?
Fire Marshal is a promotional test offered to FDNY members who currently hold the position of New York City Firefighter. To become a Marshal, you would have to first become an FDNY Firefighter.

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