Frequently Asked Questions
Please click on any of the categories for detailed information
General Questions
  • How can I find the ambulance who transported someone to a hospital?
    • We do not have ambulance records. If this service was provided in the unincorporated parts of Harris County, you can contact the Harris County Emergency Corps at (281) 449-3131 or the nearest fire department. To located your fire department, visit Harris County’s Address Search. Your fire department will be located under the Fire Juris. column.
  • I am considering in buying a home and wanted to know if there has ever been a fire at that location?
    • You will need to contact the fire department who is responsible for response to your home. To located your fire department, visit Harris County’s Address Search. Your fire department will be located under the Fire Juris. column.
  • Who is the Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office Custodian of Records?
  • Where can I find an ISO report?
Administrative Questions
  • How do I obtain records related to a fire in unincorporated Harris County?
  • How do I find out how to become an Investigator, Fire Inspector or Hazardous Materials Technician?
    • Visit the TCFP website to view the curriculum and find out where classes are offered. To view a list of all open county positions, please visit the employment page on the Harris County main website.
Inspections of Existing Locations
  • What are the inspection standards for the unincorporated area of Harris County?
  • How do I report a fire hazard?
  • I need a fire inspection for an Adult Care Facility; what do I need to do?
  • I need a fire inspection for a Day Care Center; what do I need to do?
  • I need a fire inspection for my Foster Home (1 to 6 children); what do I need to do?
  • I need a fire inspection for my Foster Group Home (7 to 12 children); what do I need to do?
  • I need a fire inspection for a Hospital or Nursing Home; what do I need to do?
  • I need a fire inspection for a Outpatient Clinic; what do I need to do?
  • I need a fire inspection for my Residential Treatment location; what do I need to do?
  • I need a fire inspection for a Private School; what do I need to do?
  • I need a fire inspection for a Temporary Vendor; what do I need to do?
  • I need a fire inspection for a Vocational School; what do I need to do?
  • I need a fire inspection for a Game Room; what do I need to do?
  • I need a fire inspection for a Sexually Oriented Business; what do I need to do?
  • What is an EAAP and are all locked gates required to have them?
    • An EAAP is an Emergency Activation Access Point meaning, the emergency service will be able to access the property or facility at a particular point. This activation access point can be an electronic switch, padlock, lock box or a 911 box secured with a padlock (Knox padlock). It is in a designated location and readily available to emergency response personnel. It shall not exceed 5 feet in height and must be easily accessible from outside the vehicle or pedestrian access gate. All locked access gates at apartments, town homes, condominiums and communities are required to have an HCFMO approved locking device as emergency personnel my need to access the property from more than one gated location. If your gated property already has padlocks, key switches, lock box or 911 lock box with a padlock on the access gate(s), they must be changed out to the countywide locking system. 911 boxes secured with a padlock must change the padlock to the countywide locking system. You may purchase key switches, padlocks or lock box at the KNOX Company only. Go to www.knoxbox.com , enter the zip code at the location the locking device will be installed, select “Harris Co Fire Marshals Office” as your fire department and proceed to purchase the locking device that best fits your application.
  • Who will have keys to these EAAP?
    • Initially, only firefighters and emergency medical personnel responding to calls for service will have key access. No keys will be provided to gate companies, project personnel or property owners. Selected law enforcement personnel will be issued keys at a later date. Keys will be issued through a key coordinator with the HCFMO only and a strict accountability program will be enforced.
Inspections of New Locations
  • How can I request a final inspection?
  • Am I in Harris County’s Jurisdiction?
    • Please visit this link.. Put your address, and click on the “search” button. If your Law Juris column contains “sheriff,” you are in unincorporated Harris County.
  • What kind of inspection does Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office conduct?
  • What does the fire marshal look for during an inspection?
  • Can I apply for a final inspection if I’m not ready?
    • If you aren’t ready for the final or initial fire inspection, you may request a preliminary inspection. You must apply in person at 7701 Wilshire Place Dr., Houston, Texas 77040 or 2318 Atascocita Rd., Humble, Texas 77396. The application can be found online under the Existing Facilities, General. This type of inspection will give you an overview of items that may need to be corrected prior to the initial or final inspection. The fee for the preliminary inspection is $130.00.
  • Can I have an inspection expedited?
    • At this time, we do not offer expedited inspections. If you have any questions, please email us at fmosupport@fmo.hctx.net or call (713) 274-1730.
  • Do I need a new inspection if I’m a new owner in an existing building or I’ve had a name changed?
  • How long after an inspector calls me can I schedule my inspection?
    • Timing will vary depding on avability of inspectors and the schedule of the business owner.
Permits / New Construction
  • How do I obtain a permit?
  • How do I get a final inspection for new construction?
  • What do I need if I am building in the unincorporated area of Harris County?
    • You will need to contact Harris County Engineering at: 10555 Northwest Freeway – Suite 120, Houston, Texas 77092 Phone: 713-956-3000 Hours – Monday through Friday 7:30 am to 4:00 pm.
  • What code standard applies for my permitted location?
    • This depends on when you were permitted. Please use the following table:

      Permit Date Code Standard
      Prior to March 1, 2007 International Fire Code 2003 ed.
      On or after March 1, 2007 International Fire Code 2006 ed.
      On or after March 1, 2015 Harris County Fire Code
  • Is a fire alarm or fire suppression company required to have plans reviewed and permitted?
    • Yes, all plans are required to be submitted (even on existing facilities) and fire code permits are required. You will need to contact Harris County Engineering at: 10555 Northwest Freeway – Suite 120, Houston, Texas 77092 Phone: 713-956-3000 Hours – Monday through Friday 7:30 am to 4:00 pm
  • What construction documents are required from a fire protection company?
    • You will need to contact Harris County Engineering at: 10555 Northwest Freeway – Suite 120, Houston, Texas 77092 Phone: 713-956-3000 Hours – Monday through Friday 7:30 am to 4:00 pm.
  • Do I need to have my plans reviewed if I am only MODIFYING a fire alarm or suppression system?
    • For that determination you will need to contact Harris County Engineering at: 10555 Northwest Freeway – Suite 120, Houston, Texas 77092 Phone: 713-956-3000 Hours – Monday through Friday 7:30 am to 4:00 pm.
  • What is my next step, if I have received a Warning Letter noting I’m in violation of fire code on my facility?
    • You will need to contact Harris County Engineering at: 10555 Northwest Freeway – Suite 120, Houston, Texas 77092 Phone: 713-956-3000 Hours – Monday through Friday 7:30 am to 4:00 pm.
  • Can I open my location before being inspected by the HCFMO?
    • No, a Certificate of Compliance is required to open a facility to the general public.
HazMat Response
  • Why does the HazMat Response group exist?
    • Following the events of September 11, 2001 the overall HazMat response capabilities of Harris County were evaluated. With Harris County being located in the petrochemical capital of the world and having such strong ties to our national infrastructure, a decision was made to create additional HazMat response teams in our area. Here are some interesting facts about the Harris County Team:

      • HC HMRT is a FEMA, Type 1 Hazardous Materials Response Team.
      • The team was established in early 2002 by Harris County Commissioners Court.
      • Currently HC HMRT is the second busiest Hazmat Team in the region.
      • The Team is staffed by 12 full time TCFP certified HazMat Technicians and 12 part-time certified technician.
  • How can I request a copy of a Hazmat Incident Report?
    • You would have to send in a records request. Visit the Request Public Records section. Please complete the form and fax it to (281) 436-8025 or email it to fmorecords@fmo.hctx.net Please make sure that you have your contact information and and email address. Once received, you should receive your response within 10 business days.
  • I received a copy of a billing invoice, who can I contact in regards to this bill?
  • I need to send a copy of our Tier II Report, who can I send it to?
    • Please send that report to Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office, 2318 Atascocita, Humble Texas 77396.
  • We would like to have the Hazardous Materials Team come to our event. How can we request a visit?
    • Please visit our Outreach Program page and fill the on-line form.
Youth Firesetter Intervention
  • Does my child need the Youth Firesetter Intervention Program?
    • While curiosity about fire is a common issue with almost all human beings (usually in the form of campfires, candles, fireplaces, etc.), the use of fire by children is a very dangerous behavior. A tragic situation can be created the first time a child misuses fire. Adults must instill in children the idea that matches and lighters are tools, not toys.

      The Harris County Youth Firesetter Intervention program is available at no cost to the citizens of Harris County. Youth (between the ages of two and 18 years of age) can participate in the program. The goal is to educate the child in fire safety and thereby cease the risky behavior. If you would like more information, please visit the Youth Firesetting Intervention Program page.
  • How does the program work?
    • One-on-one class time is arranged for the child and at least one parent or guardian/caretaker. A family fire risk assessment is conducted to determine the motivation behind the firesetting and create an intervention strategy. Education is appropriate for all kids involved in firesetting behavior and a lesson in fire safety and survival skills will be conducted. If it is determined further counseling is necessary, a referral may be recommended. The program may also be able to assist with additional resources if identified. All information is confidential.
  • What can parents do?
    • Parents should:

      • Instill the idea that matches and lighters are off limits and a tool for adults, not a toy for children. Keep all matches and lighters out of the reach of children.
      • Install a smoke alarm in every bedroom and in the hallway outside the bedrooms. Test every smoke alarm once a month to make sure they are working.
      • Remove all flammable items from the home and lock them up in a safe place.
      • Use candles with care and keep out of the reach of children.
      • Practice your fire escape plan and have a meeting place outside the home.
      • Teach your children about safe cooking. Turn pot handles inward. Do not throw water on a grease fire. Place a lid over the pan, turn off the heat and exit the home.
      • If your child has been discovered misusing or experimenting with fire, enroll them in a youth firesetting intervention program promptly.
Fire Field
  • How can we schedule the use of the fire field?
    • Please contact Jason Barnes at (713) 274-1765 or via email.
  • What is the cost to use the fire field and props?
    • Please contact Jason Barnes at (713) 274-1765 or via email to obtain cost associated with using HCFMO’s Fire Field and training props.
  • I need to send in my payment for use of the field and classroom. Who do I send the payment to?
    • Payment can be mailed to Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office, Attn: Training Division, 2318 Atascocita, Humble Texas 77396. Be sure to include the PO number on the memo line of the check.
Fire Investigations
  • How do I obtain records related to a fire in unincorporated Harris County?
  • How do I find the lead investigator of a fire investigation?
    • You can email fmosupport@fmo.hctx.net or call (713) 274-1799. It is important that you leave a detailed message regarding the case.
  • How can we find out if Harris County Fire Marshal’s investigated a case?
    • You can email fmosupport@fmo.hctx.net or call (713) 274-1799. It is important that you leave a detailed message regarding the case.
  • How can I obtain a copy of a fire investigation report?
  • How long does it take for me to receive a copy of a fire investigator report?
  • How do I obtain a copy of the fire department report?
    • You need to contact the fire department that responded to the fire in question.
  • If I come to the office, can I obtain a copy of the fire report?
    • Yes, but only if the report able to be released. Please call our office at (713) 274-1700 or email fmorecords@fmo.hctx.net to obtain more information.
  • Is there a cost for the report?
    • There is no charge for a copy of the report.
Insurance Service Office (ISO)
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