As authorized by State Law* and under the direction of the Fire Marshal, the Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office is responsible for fire prevention, education, control and investigation in the unincorporated areas of Harris County. The Department also assists local municipalities when requested by their government representatives.
"Our mission is to safeguard the lives and property of residents in the unincorporated areas of Harris County through effective fire prevention, fire investigation, education, and emergency response." Harris County Fire Marshal Laurie L. Christensen
The Emergency Operations Division houses the Harris County Hazardous Materials Response Team (HCHMRT), often referred to as HazMat. This team is responsible for the effective planning, mitigation and recovery from emergencies and disasters – whether natural, accidental or deliberate. This program supports fire departments and law enforcement with hazardous spills and chemical releases.
The Investigations Division is responsible for determining the origin and cause of fires and explosions. When the possibility of criminal intent exists, investigators collect evidence and file criminal charges with the appropriate court jurisdiction, and oftentimes investigators are required to testify in criminal cases. The Investigations Division also responds to fire incidents in unincorporated areas of the county that result in a fatality, situations which require medical transport as a result of a fire or when the cause of the fire is undetermined or incendiary. HCFMO also investigates circumstances of life-threatening injuries or fatalities that occur due to electrocution through an agreement with the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences.
The Prevention Division is responsible for the effective prevention of fires through the inspection of buildings during and after construction to determine compliance with the adopted county fire code. Furthermore, prevention personnel conduct periodic inspections of commercial and public buildings upon request or in response to citizen complaints, for the presence of hazardous conditions and ensuring corrections through the issuance of order, violations, and citations. The division also provides a wide variety of fire/life safety programs for the general public and first responders.
The Operational Support Division manages and oversees the agency’s strategic planning initiatives, training management, logistical management, liaison program, intelligence gathering, and outreach services.
The Outreach Section consists of two critical components; public education and youth fire-setter intervention. The public education section coordinates to provide fire and life safety education campaigns aligned with national and locally developed strategies. The second section is our Youth Fire-setter Intervention Program. By working with our county’s youth to intervene in potential harmful and illegal actions, we can ensure that we are building proponents for fire/life safety rather than influencing them negatively at a young age.
The Services Support Division is responsible for effective accounting, budgeting, employee personnel assistance, and payroll procedures. It supplies required documentation for purchases authorized by the Commissioners Court and assist all divisions with preparations of annual budget.