The Alabama State Fire Marshal’s Office (SFMO) is a division of the Alabama Department of Insurance. The department is under the leadership of Insurance Commissioner Jim Ridling.
Commissioner Ridling provides the resources for the SFMO to accomplish the goals and perform the duties and responsibilities of the office.
The Alabama State Fire Marshal’s Office was established in 1917. In 1919, the first legislative act regarding the authority, duties and responsibilities of the office was adopted and signed into law. In 1953, the State Fire Marshal’s Office became a division of the Alabama Department of Insurance. Title 36 Chapter 19 of the Code of Alabama, 1975 provides the authority and prescribes the duties of the office of the State Fire Marshal and his deputies.
The Fire Marshal, Assistant Fire Marshal, and Deputies are state police officers and carry general police powers statewide.
The Alabama State Fire Marshal’s office consists of State Fire Marshal Scott Pilgreen, Acting Assistant State Fire Marshals Mark Drinkard and Jim Finn, and 21 deputies with a combined total of 150+ years of experience along with three Fraud Investigators and one analyst. The deputies are located in field offices throughout the state and are responsible for investigations and inspections in their respective districts. The headquarters in Montgomery, AL is staffed by the State Fire Marshal, two Acting Assistant State Fire Marshals, Departmental Operations Specialist, and three administrative support personnel.
The SFMO conducts inspections of buildings and properties to ensure the buildings are safe for occupancy for their intended use, and provides for adequate exits in the event of fire, disaster or other emergencies. The SFMO adopts and enforces various Building, Life Safety and Fire Prevention Codes. The State Fire Marshal is charged with the promulgation and enforcement of regulations pertaining to building construction and fire safety for the citizens of Alabama.
The SFMO regulates and permits the fireworks industry, fire sprinkler industry, fire alarm industry, blasting industry, destructive devices, and cigarette manufacturers (Fire Safety Compliant Cigarettes (FSC).
They also investigate fires, explosions and any related crimes. Assistance is provided to fire departments and other law enforcement agencies in the prevention of arson and explosions, and provides support to the courts for prosecution of cases made by its personnel. The office provides training for the public, courts, fire and law enforcement departments in fire prevention, fire investigation, detection of arson, and education for the interpretation of fire and building codes and life safety regulations.