Office of the Fire Marshal

CONTACT INFORMATION: Office Hours: 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday, Lobby Hours: 7:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Monday-Friday
703-246-4800 TTY 711
12099 Government Center Parkway
Fairfax, VA 22035
John Walser
Assistant Chief, Fire Official - 703-246-4753

About the Fire Marshal



The Office of the Fire Marshal, which is the Fire Prevention Division of the Fire & Rescue Department’s Administrative Services Bureau, functions under the command of a Deputy Fire Chief, who is responsible for oversight of all aspects of the Office of the Fire Marshal's mission. This oversight includes supervision of the Fire Prevention Technical Services Section (FPTS), Fire Prevention Inspections Section (FPIS), and Fire Investigation Section (FIS) sections, each commanded by a Battalion Fire Chief.

Fire Prevention Technical Services Section

Fire Prevention Inspections Section

Fire Investigation Section

The Deputy Fire Chief of the Fire Prevention Division, also known as the Deputy County Fire Marshal, reports directly to the Assistant Fire Chief of the Administrative Services Bureau who, in turn, reports directly to the Fire Chief. The Fire Chief also serves as the County Fire Marshal, which is a position appointed by the County Executive with the approval of the Board of Supervisors pursuant to Section 62-2-1 of the Fairfax County Code. All sworn Fire Marshals under the Deputy Fire Marshal are considered Assistant Fire Marshals.



Successful implementation of the Fire Marshal’s mission is accomplished by over 100 Fairfax County employees who are trained and certified to enforce a variety of fire prevention regulations including the Fire Prevention Code and portions of the Uniform Statewide Building Code. On-duty fire investigators provide coverage 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to respond to and investigate fire and hazardous materials incidents. In addition, a fire inspector is on-call after regular business hours to investigate reports of life-threatening or dangerous fire code violations and to respond to buildings with out-of-service fire protection systems to ensure that the systems are repaired and fire protection is maintained. The cumulative efforts of the Fire Marshal help to ensure lower property insurance costs, foster economic development, lower the number and severity of firefighter injuries, and increase the quality of life in Fairfax County.  

  • Mission: To prevent the inception or recurrence of fire and hazardous conditions by providing fire prevention and hazardous materials-related educational, enforcement, inspection, investigative, plans review, and technical services to the businesses, industries, residents, and visitors of Fairfax County and the towns of Clifton, Herndon, and Vienna.
  • Motto: "Pride in Prevention"
  • Vision: Successful community and industry partnerships to eliminate loss of life and property due to fire and environmental hazards.



The Fairfax County Fire Marshal is authorized to act on behalf of the Fairfax County Building Official (LDS) regarding enforcement of the Uniform Statewide Building Code (USBC). The Fire Marshal provides primary USBC enforcement in the area of fire protection systems and supplemental USBC enforcement in areas including, but not limited to, hazardous materials storage and means of egress. The scope of services provided on behalf of DPWES includes plans review, processing and issuing construction permits, and inspections. The Office of the Fire Marshal is responsible for the final approval of fire protection equipment and systems.

This authorization, which is outlined in a memorandum of understanding (MOU), falls within the Building Official's authority to delegate duties and powers in accordance with Section 106.2 of the USBC and is in furtherance of the Fire Marshal's enforcement powers set forth in Chapters 61 and 62 of the Fairfax County Code. The Building Official retains ultimate responsibility for assuring that delegated duties and powers are carried out in accordance with the USBC. This MOU is on file at the Office of the Fire Marshal; copies may obtained through the records request process.



In accordance with §27-99 and §9.1-208 of the Code of Virginia, the Virginia Department of Fire Programs (VDFP), which includes the State Fire Marshal, is authorized to enter into an agreement with Fairfax County for services relating to the administration and enforcement of regulations affecting fire safety in public buildings.

Pursuant to a memorandum of agreement (MOA) between the Virginia State Fire Marshal and the Fairfax County Fire Marshal, the County Fire Marshal has the authority as a representative of the State Fire Marshal to respond to calls of complaint for violation of the Statewide Fire Prevention Code (SFPC) at state-owned facilities that constitute an imminent hazard to the occupants, such as chained or blocked exit doors, improper storage of flammable liquids, the use of flammable decorative materials, and overcrowding. This MOA is on file at the Office of the Fire Marshal; copies may obtained through the records request process.

Fairfax County falls within the Eastern Region of the State Fire Marshal's Office; therefore, questions should be directed to that office or the State Fire Marshal headquarters at 804-612-7266. Detailed information about programs and services provided by the State Fire Marshal can be found at State Fire Marshal's Office Programs.

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