FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Code Enforcement

Q. Where can I obtain a copy of the Ohio Fire Code?

A. From the library, the internet or purchased through a publisher. The Division of State Fire Marshal does not sell copies of the code. Codebooks can be obtained from the International Code Council (ICC) at 1-888-422-7233 or West Group at 1-800-328-9352. You can view the onine version here.

Q. How do I schedule a fire safety inspection?

A. The local fire official should be contacted first, as they are the authority having jurisdiction. If the local fire officials chooses not to conduct the inspection, the State Fire Marshal’s Code Enforcement Bureau Fire Safety Inspector will conduct the inspection. Code Enforcement has instituted an Electronic Scheduling System, known as CLICK. To inquire or schedule an inspection with a Fire Safety Inspector, please call the CLICK Scheduling Office at (614)-644-5574 or (614)-752-7172 or our toll free number at 855-715-7790.

Q. Is a permit required for the installation, removal, alteration or abandonment in place of a flammable/combustible liquid storage tank that is not regulated by the Bureau of Underground Storage Tanks?

A. Yes. A permit is required from either the local fire official or if they choose not to issue the permit, then the permit would be obtained from the Code Enforcement Bureau.

Q. Where can I obtain a copy of the School Fire Drill Reporting Form?

A. The form can be obtained on the Code Enforcement website or by calling the office and requesting the form be faxed directly to you.

Q. When is a permit required for the installation or removal of a flammable/combustible liquid storage tank?

A. A permit is required for the installation or removal of a flammable/combustible liquid storage tank if the tank is 60 gallons or more. However, a permit is not required for a farm tank or residential heating oil tank that is 1,100 gallons or less.

Q. There are new construction projects and renovations being done on buildings in my jurisdiction, which involve fire protection systems. As fire chief, I’d like to be able to review those plans and provide feedback to the building official. Can I do plan reviews for fire protection systems and offer my input?

A. Yes, you are authorized by the Ohio Fire Code to do plan review for fire protection systems, but there are guidelines you need to follow. First, you must inform the building official that you would like to receive and review the plans, as provided in the building code as listed in rule 1310:7-7-45 of the Administrative Code in accordance with Section 106.1.2 of that code and certain provisions of the OFC. Informing the building official in writing will provide you with documentation that is clear that you would like to proceed with all applicable plan reviews. Next, you must provide to the building official your findings of the plan review. Your findings must be in compliance with the Ohio Fire code specific sections. For each element of the reviewed construction document that does not meet the requirements of the Ohio Fire Code, you need to provide in writing to the building official, a specific reference to the relevant sections of the Ohio Fire Code that have not been fully satisfied. You must provide your plan review findings to the building official within a time frame appropriate for compliance with the building official’s statutory requirements.

Q. As fire chief, I have received notices informing me that certain types of fire protection components, such as sprinkler heads, are under a recall. The problem is, I don’t know if or when the work has been done to correct the recalled component. Is there a section of the Ohio Fire Code that requires I be notified upon completion?

A. Yes. The building owner is required by the Ohio Fire Code to notify you that the component(s) have been replaced. Refer to the Ohio Fire Code, 1301:7-7-09, section (A) (9) 901.9.

Q. I receive requests for tent inspections from various organizations. Are the organizations required to have tent permits?

A. Yes, a permit and approval. But, there are stipulations as to size and type of air-supported membrane structure, tent or canopy. Air-supported membrane structures and tents having an area in excess of 200 square feet, and canopies in excess of 400 square feet would be required to be approved and a permit issued. Tents, air-supported membrane structures or canopies in excess of those sizes previously listed that are erected on state property must have a permit from Division of Industrial Compliance, when a permit is not issued by the local fire official.

Q. I have a charter school that has 60 students. Is the school required to conduct fire drills/emergency evacuations?

A. Yes. In accordance with the Ohio Fire Code 1301:7-7-04, section (E) (a) 405.1.1, and in compliance with the Ohio Revised Code 3737.73, the drills or rapid dismissals are required to be conducted nine times during the school year, at the times and frequencies required in the code.

Q. I have elementary schools in my fire jurisdiction. I would like to do fire safety inspections of those schools. Do I need to notify the state fire marshal of my inspections of those schools?

A. Yes, you are required to notify, in writing on an annual basis, the state fire marshal’s office, of your intent to inspect those schools. Each school, educational institution or children’s home shall be identified as to name and address when corresponding to the state fire marshal’s office.

Q. As a fire official, I receive complaints from persons on overcrowded conditions at nightclubs and bars. Some of those same occupancies do not have occupancy load capacity signs posted. Can I have them install occupancy load capacity signs?

A. Yes. Working in cooperation with the building official you would need to evaluate the premises for the allowable occupant load for that assembly place. The occupancy sign, which must be of permanent design and construction, must be installed in a conspicuous place near the main exit or exit access doorway from the room or space.

Q. I have a gas station that also sells many items. The attendant’s view of the fuel dispensers is obstructed by display racks of merchandise. Is this permissible?

A. No. Dispensing devices shall be in clear view of the attendant at all times. There can be no obstructions between the attendant and the fuel dispensing area at any time.

Explosive Magazines

Q. Is my explosive magazine regulated?

A. Yes. A permit, issued annually, is required to operate an explosive magazine.

Q. Under what condition(s) is an explosive magazine permit required?

A. A permit is required for the manufacture, processing or storage of explosives and explosive materials.

Q. What are the minimum requirements for an explosive magazine permit?

A. Every applicant for a "new" Explosive Magazine Permit shall:
  • Submit a properly completed application on a form prescribed by the State Fire Marshal.
  • Submit directions to and a map to the site. Also indicate on the map the location of the explosive magazine(s) on the site.
  • Submit a copy of bonding and/or insurance in the amount of $100,000 where the explosive magazine is located against any and all damages that may arise.
  • Submit a check or money order for the amount of $75.00, payable to: Treasurer, State of Ohio.

Note: The magazine(s) and site must receive a satisfactory inspection from the State Fire Marshal's office, before an explosive magazine permit will be issued.

Q. How can I obtain an explosive magazine permit application?

A. You can obtain an application by clicking here, or call (614) 752-7126 and ask that an explosive magazine application be mailed to you. Give your name and complete mailing address. Return the completed form, with a check or money order for $75.00 made payable to Treasurer, State of Ohio to: Division of State Fire Marshal, Bureau of Testing & Registration, 8895 East Main Street, Reynoldsburg, Ohio 43068.

Q. Can my explosive magazine permit also be used for blasting?

A. No. A separate permit must be obtained from the sheriff's department having jurisdiction over the intended blasting site.

Q. Can an explosive magazine permit cover multiple magazines at multiple locations?

A. An explosive magazine permit may cover 1 or more magazines at a single location, but not more than 1 location by address.

Q. How often does an explosive magazine permit have to be renewed?

A. An explosive magazine must be renewed once a year and is valid from July 1, to June 30, of the following year.

Q. What is the renewal fee?

A. $75.00

Q. How often do I obtain an explosive magazine renewal form?

A. Explosive magazine renewal forms are mailed out to current permit holders each year prior to June 1st.

Q. I didn't receive an explosive magazine renewal for or lost the the one I got, how do I get a replacement explosive magazine permit form?

A. You can obtain a duplicate explosive magazine renewal by calling (614) 752-7126 and asking that a duplicate explosive magazine renewal be mailed to you. Give your name, license number, and complete mailing address.

Fire and Explosion Investigations Bureau

Q. When should I call for an SFM arson investigator?

A. The SFM FEIB cannot investigate every fire in Ohio – we are not staffed for that level of activity. The FEIB is a special resource for local fire and law enforcement officers to call on for expertise on the tough cases requiring special experience. The FEIB is specially trained to investigate fires, arsons and explosives; that’s all we do, we have no other duties.

We STRONGLY recommend local agencies call an SFM FEIB investigator for the following:
  • All fatal fires, or fires involving injuries
  • All firefighter fatality or injury fires
  • Suspicious fires, multiple origin, physical evidence found
  • Commercial fires, or large dollar loss fires
  • All explosions and improvised explosive devices (IEDs)
  • All fireworks incidents, injuries or fires
  • Major incidents involving long term scene investigation

Q. How long will it take an investigator to respond?

A. The 1-800-589-2728 number is answered 24 hours per day by a fire dispatch center in the Columbus area. One of the FEIB supervisors is always "on-call" and will return call the requestor within 5-10 minutes of the request. The FEIB supervisor needs to talk to an incident commander or chief officer on the scene, not the local dispatch center. The FEIB supervisor will triage the incident and determine whether an investigator will respond immediately, or hold the response until the next business day, in accordance with the SFM Policy on After Hours Response. For an immediate response it is the FEIB goal to have the first investigator on the scene within 2 hours of the request, and additional resources to respond as quickly as possible.

Q. What types of incidents will you respond to immediately?

A. The FEIB supervisor on-call must make a decision based on the information provided by the incident commander – every call is different. We do our best to meet the needs of the departments requesting our help.

The FEIB supervisor on call will always dispatch an investigator(s) immediately to the following types of incidents:
  • Civilian fatality or injury
  • Firefighter fatality or injury
  • Possible arson with witnesses or suspects
  • Large dollar loss fires
  • Explosions, IEDs, fireworks injuries or fatalities

The FEIB supervisors will evaluate each request individually and will make a judgment on responses, case by case. Every effort will be made to assist the local agencies, and an explanation of why an incident must be held until the next business day will provided to the caller / requestor.

Q. What should we do until the SFM arson investigator arrives?

A. The SFM FEIB supervisor will advise the incident commander on specific actions to take if an investigator is going to be dispatched immediately. In general, the following steps are always appropriate:

  • Secure the scene! Keep all non-essential people out of scene. Stay on the scene with a physical presence of the fire or law enforcement personnel if possible.
  • Protect evidence – guard it, cover it, photograph and document it.
  • Secure the victims! Whether on the scene or in a medical facility, the survivors and fatal victims will be crucial to the investigation.
  • Keep an engine or ladder company on-scene if possible to assist the arson investigator(s) with lights, tools or manpower.

Q. What are some things we should not do on the fire scene?

A. Here are some things that should not be done:
  • Don’t call us hours or even days later after leaving the scene.
  • Don’t dig out the scene, move or destroy evidence or alter the scene before calling us – extinguish the fire, minimize overhaul and hold the scene for the SFM arson investigator.
  • Don’t allow non-essential people to walk thru the scene.
  • Do not eat or drink in the scene.
  • Do not fuel power equipment in the scene.
  • Do not allow personnel to remove belongings, valuables or appliances from the scene.

Fireworks

Q. Does Ohio law require a license for the sale and use of fireworks?

A. Yes, manufacturers, wholesalers, exhibitors and shippers of fireworks must have State Fire Marshal issued licenses for fireworks use.

Q. Does the State Fire Marshal issue the Permit for the Exhibition of Fireworks?

A. No. Under current state law, only a local fire and police chief/sheriff can issue permits for the exhibition of fireworks in Ohio. The applicant must be a licensed exhibitor and the fireworks must be purchased from a licensed wholesaler, manufacturer, or out-of-state shipper. The applicant must have appropriate insurance and the exhibition must comply with the safety provisions of the Ohio Revised Code and Fire Code (see O.R.C. 3743.50 through 3743.56).

Q. Can I get a license to sell fireworks?

A. No, not at this time. There is a moratorium on the issuance of additional fireworks licenses in effect until December 15, 2015. (ORC 3743.75.) By law the State Fire Marshal can only issue licenses on December 1st of each year. If the current moratorium is not extended, applications for new licenses will be accepted beginning September 1, 2016. The first time a new license may be issued would be on December 1, 2016.

Q. Can I get an exhibitor’s license?

A. Yes. For more information call the State Fire Marshal's Bureau of Testing and Registration at 614-752-7126. When application is made, you must submit a letter of proficiency in the handling and discharging of fireworks from an Ohio licensed exhibitor or a certified copy of a license from another state. The application can be downloaded from the following website: www.com.ohio.gov/fire Click on the link to "Forms" at the bottom of the page. Scroll to "Fireworks Exhibitor Forms".

Q. As a citizen of the State of Ohio, can I buy and use fireworks?

A. Yes, you may buy consumer or 1.4g fireworks from a licensed wholesaler or manufacturer; however, you cannot discharge any consumer or 1.4g fireworks in the State of Ohio. You must transport all fireworks purchased in Ohio out of the state within 48 hours of the purchase. The only items that can be used in Ohio are designated "trick and novelty" which smoke, pop, and/or sparkle. In Ohio, use of 1.4g fireworks (fire crackers, bottle rockets, etc.) is illegal. (R.C. 3743.65 (B))

Q. Where can I find Ohio's laws that regulate fireworks?

A. The laws are set out in the Ohio Revised Code, Chapter 3743 and in the Ohio Fire Code under Chapter 33.

Q. What are the continuing education requirements for Manufacturers?

A. Each year, manufacturers shall attend a continuing education program approved by the State Fire Marshal. Within one year after attending the program, the manufacturer shall conduct in-service training for the firm’s other employees regarding the material presented during the manufacturer’s continuing education class.

Q. What are the continuing education requirements for wholesalers?

A. Each year, wholesalers shall attend a continuing education program approved by the State Fire Marshal. Within one year after attending the program, the wholesaler shall conduct in-service training for the firm’s other employees regarding the material presented during the wholesaler’s continuing education.

Q. What are the continuing education requirements for exhibitors?

A. Exhibitors shall attend a continuing education program approved by the State Fire Marshal once every three years. The program shall consist of at least six hours of instruction. A licensed exhibitor or the exhibitor’s designee who attends a required program shall, within one year after attending the program, and on an annual basis during the following two years, conduct in-service training for other employees of the licensee.

Q. Can a licensed exhibitor acquire and use 1.4g fireworks at an outdoor permit?

A. Yes, a licensed exhibitor may acquire 1.4g fireworks for use at an outdoor public fireworks exhibition, as long as that exhibitor has a fireworks exhibition permit through the Authority Having Jurisdiction.

Q. Does an exhibitor need to register all employees?

A. Yes. The exhibitor shall annually register with the State Fire Marshal all employees who assist the licensed exhibitor in conducting fireworks’ exhibitions. At the time of registration, the exhibitor must provide written verification that the employee completed a minimum of three hours in-service education in the safe operation of a public display. You can obtain a registration form by clicking here. The employee must be registered with the State Fire Marshal at least 14 days prior to assisting the licensed exhibitor in conducting a fireworks’ exhibition. An employee, once registered, can work for any Ohio licensed exhibitor. Only exhibitors, registered employees, and fire inspectors shall be permitted within the discharge perimeter of an exhibition. (R.C. 3743.56)

Q. Can a licensed exhibitor store 1.4g and 1.3g in an ATFE approved magazine at his/her residence or other location?

A. No. Only licensed wholesalers and manufacturers can store 1.4g or 1.3g fireworks in Ohio. An Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) may issue a TEMPORARY storage permit for fireworks to be used in a specific exhibition at the same time they issue a Permit for the Exhibition of Fireworks for the same site area of the actual scheduled exhibit. Pre-exhibition storage can be for up to 72 hours.

Q. Can a licensed exhibitor purchase fireworks from a company in another state?

A. Ohio licensed exhibitors have only three options from which to purchase 1.3G, 1.4G, and/or 1.4S fireworks:
  • Ohio licensed wholesalers
  • Ohio licensed manufacturers
  • Out-of-state shippers with an Ohio permit

Q. Does the State Fire Marshal have a website regarding fireworks?

A. A. Yes, http://www.com.ohio.gov/fire/fmfeMain.aspx

Q. What documents do I need to follow if I am an exhibitor, wholesaler, manufacturer, out-of-state shipper, or a fire inspector as it relates to the use, possession, transportation or sale of fireworks?

A. Both federal and state law regulates fireworks. Most federal regulations are listed in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). State regulations are contained in the Ohio Revised Code (ORC) and the Ohio Administrative Code (OAC), also known as the Ohio Fire Code (OFC). The OFC adopts, by reference, certain National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standards, which have the full force of law in Ohio. The most important to know are:

FEDERAL
  • Title 16 (Consumer Products) of the CFR, including part 1507 (Fireworks Devices)
  • Title 27 (Commerce in Explosives) of the CFR, including part 555
  • Title 49 (Transportation) of the CFR, including parts 172, 173 and 174
  • Federal Explosive Law and Regulations (orange book) ATF P 5400.7, Title 27, Part 55 (09/00)

STATE
  • Ohio Revised Code, Chapter 3743.
  • Ohio Fire Code, Rule 1301:7-7-33.
  • NFPA 1123, Code for Fireworks Display 2006 1
  • NFPA 1124, Code for Transportation and Storage 2006 1
  • NFPA 1126, Standards Before a Proximate Audience 2006 1

1 Call 1-800-344-3555 to order copies of the NFPA Guides
Please check the SFM's website at http://www.com.ohio.gov/fire/ for the latest information on the effective date of any new rules.

Q. I want to have a fireworks show, for my guests, on private property. Do I need to have a permit?

A. Yes, all fireworks exhibitions shall follow the rules and regulations contained in both federal and state law. An Ohio licensed exhibitor must conduct such an exhibit. The exhibition permit and checklist must be completed by the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) and returned to the State Fire Marshal’s Office. An Inspector must be assigned to the exhibition.

Q. Why are there so many rules and regulations for fireworks?

A. The primary laws regulating fireworks in Ohio are contained in ORC Chapter 3743 consisting of laws passed by the Ohio legislature. The OFC is written to supplement the provisions of the ORC. As required by the ORC, the OFC incorporates several NFPA Standards. These laws exist to protect the public and to regulate the fireworks’ industry in a fair manner.

Q. What is the difference between 1.3G, 1.4G and 1.4S fireworks?

A. 1.3G fireworks are used by Ohio licensed exhibitors and sometimes are called display fireworks. They are regulated as to use and storage by the state and ATFE. It is illegal for anyone to possess, use or store 1.3G fireworks in Ohio unless you are licensed as a manufacturer or wholesaler of fireworks. An exhibitor must have a permit issued for a fireworks' exhibition before he can possess and use 1.3G fireworks.

1.4G fireworks may be found in a licensed fireworks’ showroom and sold to the public at various retail locations across Ohio. 1.4G fireworks are sometimes called consumer fireworks. If you chose to purchase 1.4G fireworks, you have 48 hours to take the fireworks out of Ohio. It is illegal for anyone to use (discharge, ignite or explode) 1.4G fireworks in the State of Ohio.

1.4S fireworks are Special Effects Fireworks, not available to the general public and are used indoors by Ohio licensed pyrotechnic exhibitors. Some special effects fireworks can be labeled 1.4G and classified as "Article, Pyrotechnic" UN0431 and not sold to the general public.

Q. Does a licensed Ohio exhibitor need an additional license to use flame effects at a pyrotechnics exhibition?

A. Yes. A Flame Effect License is needed to shoot open flames generated by propane liquid, butane, methane or natural gas. An Ohio flame effect exhibition is regulated by OFC Section 1301:7.7.33(L). Permits for such exhibitions must be obtained from the local fire official of the jurisdiction where the exhibition is scheduled to occur.

Q. Are M80’s, M100’s Quarter sticks considered fireworks?

A. M80’s and similar devices are considered "explosives" and not fireworks. The US Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) banned these devices in 1966 under the Child Protection Act (T16 CFR 150-1507). Cherry Bombs, Silver Salutes, M80’s, M100’s and Quarter Sticks contain explosive composition in excess of the limits set by CPSC. In 1976, it was determined by CPSC that no more than 50 milligrams of powder can be used in 1.4G fireworks (consumer) and the fuse will have at least 3 seconds, but not longer than 9 seconds. If law enforcement or the AHJ seizes M-80’s from a subject, that person may be charged with possession and use of explosives rather than a fireworks’ violation. Charges could (depending on the circumstances) be a violation of ORC 2923.17 A & B, Unlawful Possession of a Dangerous Ordinance, (F5). Charges can also be Possessing Criminal Tools (M1) as set out in 2923.24(B)(1). Additionally, these devices are a violation of Federal Law.

Forensic Lab

Q. Who can submit evidence to the DSFM Forensic Lab?

A. The laboratory routinely accepts evidence from the following Ohio entities: any law enforcement agency; any fire service agency; any federal law enforcement agency; any state or local government agency / laboratory; any coroner’s office and bureaus of the State Fire Marshal’s Office.

Q. How do I submit evidence?

A. We accept evidence in person, via courier, and US Postal Service (registered or certified only) at the Forensic Lab during regular business days from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Please click here for further instructions.

Q. What types of tests are performed?

A. Forensic services are provided in the form of scientific examinations of ignitable liquids, fire debris, explosives, latent prints and general examination of any physical evidence involved in a suspected arson fire, explosive incident, hazardous situation, or other criminal activity. Please click here for the specific test codes.

Q. How do (should) I package the evidence?

A. In addition to chain of custody considerations, fire debris, ignitable liquid, latent print and explosive evidence have particular packaging requirements. Please refer to our Publications for illustrated instructions.

Q. How much do you charge for analysis?

A. Our services are free to investigative agencies.

Ohio Fire Academy

Q. How do I register for a class? (Attempted to register and got message to call registrar’s office – Can you sign me up)?

A. Go to: www.com.ohio.gov/fire.
Click on: Ohio Fire Academy Course Offerings / Schedule / Catalog / Materials
Go to: My Profile
Click on: CREATE ACCOUNT / FORGOT PASSWORD

The student has determined they’re a new student by the following message:

There was NO MATCH for the information (i.e., last 4 digits of SSN, zip code (e.g., change of address OR using Agency zip code), and birthdate) you have entered. Please contact the Registrar for more information.

Please CLICK HERE to create your account.

Q. Can you see if I’m in a class?

A. Go to: www.com.ohio.gov/fire.
Click on: Ohio Fire Academy Course Offerings / Schedule / Catalog / Materials
Go to: My Profile
Log in or click on: CREATE ACCOUNT / FORGOT PASSWORD

Q. I didn’t receive email notification…did you receive my registration?

A. Go to: www.com.ohio.gov/fire.
Click on: Ohio Fire Academy Course Offerings / Schedule / Catalog / Materials
Go to: My Profile

Q. Why is my status pending?

A. Either you don’t have your prerequisite paperwork submitted or the class has not been confirmed yet. To find the prerequisites for a class, click on "details".

Q. What time does the class start?

A. All classes begin at 9:00 A.M. unless other wise specified in the confirmation letter.

Q. What do I wear or bring to class?

A. Go to the course "Details" and email the coordinator or once the class is confirmed it will be on the confirmation letter. You can also click on "Course Offering/Schedule On-Line Student Registration" and view page 13 & 14 of the "Student Policy".

Q. Do you have financial aid/student loans?

A. No.

Q. Do you accept V. A. (GI bill) Benefits?

A. Yes, but the students are responsible for payment the first week of class and then get reimbursed by the VA. Veterans Affairs has approved 4 classes for reimbursement by the Ohio Fire Academy:
  •   1. Certified Fire Instructor
  •   2. Certified Fire Safety Inspector
  •   3. Emergency Medical Technician-Basic (EMT-B)
  •   4. Firefighter I & II

The registrar will complete and submit the necessary paperwork for you to receive reimbursement once you show up to attend a class. Or, you can call the Registrar’s office at 614-752-7263/888-726-7731 and speak with Ken Thompson.

Q. Certification questions?

A. All certification questions need to be addressed by the Ohio Department of Public Safety, Division of EMS: 800-233-0785 or 614-466-9447 or http://www.ems.ohio.gov.

Q. Can I schedule to take an Instructor Knowledge, Reinstatement, or IFSAC test/re-test?

A. Yes; call and or schedule with Wyvonne Page at 614-752-2078 or Wyvonne.page@com.state.oh.us. Or, call the Registrar’s office at 888-726-7731 and ask for W.

Q. When is the next class?

A. Please go to: www.com.ohio.gov/fire.
Click on: Ohio Fire Academy Course Offerings / Schedule / Catalog / Materials

Q. How do I join the Academy?

A. Go to: www.com.ohio.gov/fire.
Click on: Ohio Fire Academy Course Offerings / Schedule / Catalog / Materials
Go to: My Profile
Click on: CREATE ACCOUNT / FORGOT PASSWORD

The student has determined they’re a new student by the following message:

There was NO MATCH for the information (i.e., last 4 digits of SSN, zip code (e.g., change of address OR using Agency zip code), and birthdate) you have entered. Please contact the Registrar for more information.

Please CLICK HERE to create your account.

The student can go to "Details" when viewing a course and send an email at the course coordinator link "send email".

Q. What prerequisites do I need?

A. Prerequisite information can be found by clicking on "Details" when in a specific Course. Copies of this prerequisite information can be mailed, faxed or emailed to:

Q. How do I conduct a Direct Delivery class/How much does it cost?

A. Go to the Ohio Fire Academy website.
Click on: "Direct Delivery". Page 2 of the Direct Delivery Request Form lists all the classes, the number of hours and the cost.

Q. Is the class full? / Can I still sign up after the cut-off date?

A. Please call the registrar at 888-726-7731.

Q. Did you receive my fax?

A. Yes, if you received a transaction confirmation that the fax went through successfully.

Q. Can I come down the night before the class begins to get into my dorm?

A. Yes, the registrar’s office will have your key card for your dorm from the hours of 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. and the security guard at the front desk will have your key card after 5:00 P.M.

Q. How do I print a certificate on-line?

A. After the Academy processes student registration and satisfies your record, each student will have the ability to print their own certificate. Students can go to: www.com.ohio.gov/fire and click on "Course Offering/Schedule On-Line Student Application". Once the next page comes up, click on "My Profile" and log-in. Click on "Print Certificate" (left hand side) next to the course for the certificate you want to print.

If you don’t know your student identification number and/or Password, click on "Create Account/Forgot Password". Fill out the questions; click the "agreement" and "submit". Your password and student identification will be sent to your email address within minutes. Once you have an student identification and Password, complete the process as outlined above.

Be sure to follow the email as it spells out how to log in; your original password is case sensitive (caps lock-on) and distinguish between the letter O and the number 0 (zero). A helpful hint would be to change your password to something that’s easier to remember and not necessarily case sensitive.

Testing and Registration

Testing and Registration - Fire Protection Installers

Important Note: It is critical that we always have your most current address on file at all times. Wrong addresses can lead to mis-directed or delayed mail and potential problems for you. It is recommended that you notify us in writing of your change(s) of address as soon as possible.

Write to the:
  •   Division of State Fire Marshal
  •   Bureau of Testing & Registration
  •   8895 East Main Street
  •   Reynoldsburg, Ohio  43068
  •   Attention: Fire Protection Certification

Testing and Registration - Fire Certification for an Entity (Companies, Corporations, Partnerships, Etc.)

Q. What entities are required to have a Fire Protection Certification?

A. All companies involved in the installation, service, or maintenance of "fire protection equipment", including water lines, sprinkler systems, emergency lighting, smoke and fire detection, fire extinguishing systems and fire extinguishers "for profit."

Q. How do I go about getting a license for my company, and are there any minimum requirements the company must meet to obtain a "Fire Protection Certification?"

A. Call (614) 752-7126. When your call is put through, ask for a Company Fire Certification application to be sent to you. Give your name and complete mailing address. After you receive the application, complete it and return it with a check or money order payable to Treasurer, State of Ohio. The fee is $200.00. The only minimum requirement is that when you submit the application and fee, also include proof of liability/completion insurance for not less than $50,000.00. Send application, fee and proof of insurance to:
  •   Division of State Fire Marshal
  •   Bureau of Testing & Registration
  •   8895 East Main Street
  •   Reynoldsburg, Ohio  43068
  •   Attention: Fire Protection Certification

Q. What does the Company "Fire Protection Certification" entitle my company to do?

A. A Company Fire Protection Certification allows a company to engage in the business of servicing, testing, repairing, and the installation of fire protection and/or fire fighting equipment for profit. Note: An entity must restrict its' activities to those certification categories in which its' employees (individuals) are certified.

Q. What is the company certificate fee?

A. $200.00, except, if you are the owner of the company, only employee of the company, and currently hold a valid Fire Protection Certification as an individual, there is no fee to register your entity.

Q. Does an company have to renew its certification?

A. Yes.

Q. How do I renew a certification for an company?

A. Fire protection company license must be renewed once a year and is valid from July 1, to June 30, of the following year. Renewal notices are mailed out May 1 every year. After you receive your application, complete it and return it with a check or money order payable to Treasurer, State of Ohio. The fee is $150.00. Return the completed renewal form, proof of liability/completion insurance of no less than $50,000.00, and fee(s) to:
  •   Division of State Fire Marshal
  •   Bureau of Testing & Registration
  •   8895 East Main Street
  •   Reynoldsburg, Ohio  43068
  •   Attention: Fire Protection Certification

You may also renew this license online at http://www.com.ohio.gov/fire/eLicense.aspx.

Testing and Registration - Fire Certification for an Individual

Q. Who is required to have a "Fire Protection Certification"?

A. All persons and entities (companies, corporations, partnerships, etc.) involved in the installation, service, or maintenance of "fire protection equipment", including water lines, sprinkler systems, emergency lighting, smoke and fire detection, fire extinguishing systems and fire extinguishers "for profit."

Q. What is the minimum "job experience" or "training" requirements to become certified?

A. There are 10 different test categories: 
  •   1. Automatic sprinklers and standpipe systems.
  •   2. Fire service mains.
  •   3. Fire pumps.
  •   4. Fire alarm and detection equipment.
  •   5. Household Fire Warning Equipment.
  •   6. Portable fire extinguishers.
  •   7. Engineered extinguishing equipment other than water.
  •   8. Pre-engineered extinguishing equipment other than water.
  •   9. Aerosol extinguishing equipment other than water.
  •   10. Diesel Pumps.

No "job experience" or "training" is required for categories 1 through 6. For categories 7 ,8 and/or 9, one of the two following is required: 
  •   1. A copy of your training or approval to work on the manufacturer's engineered system; or
  •   2. A letter containing the following information:
    •         Who provided the training and their I.D. number.
    •         Applicant's years/months of experience.
    •         List of 10 completed jobs which you observed.
    •         The names and types of systems that the applicant observed being installed (i.e. Kidde, Ansul, etc.).

Q. Is testing required to become certified?

A. Yes.

Q. What is the minimum score required to "Pass" the test?

A. A score of 70% or better is required to become certified.

Q. Do I have to take all nine tests?

A. No. You only have to take and pass the test(s) relative to the type of work with which you will be involved.

Q. Is there a fee to take the test?

A. Yes. The fee for each test is $50.00.

Q. Where are the examinations given?

A. Tests are administered by the Bureau of Testing and Registration and held at:
  •   Division of State Fire Marshal
  •   Bureau of Testing & Registration
  •   8895 East Main Street
  •   Reynoldsburg, Ohio  43068

Refer to the directory in the lobby for appropriate room.

Q. When are the examinations offered?

A. Examinations are offered on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month. Refer to the schedule by clicking here.

Q. How many tests can I take on any one testing date?

A. You can take as many as you think you can get through in a 2 hour period. We recommend no more than 2 tests at any one time.

Q. Out of State Residents?

A. Anyone who wishes to take a test but is a non-Ohio resident must be sign a notorized affidavit call Irrevocable Consent to Legal Services form and it must be submitted at time of application. Click here.

Q. How will I receive my test(s) results?

A. If you pass (a score of 70% or better), you will receive your license by regular mail.
If you fail (a score of 69% or less), you will receive a letter which will inform you of your rights to appeal the failing grade, and will enable you to select a date to re-test.

Q. How long does it take to get my test results?

A. Approximately 5 to 7 working days.

Q. Do I have to pay to retest?

A. No. Your application fee covers one initial test and one retest in the same certification category. However, if you fail the retest, you must reapply as a new applicant and pay the fee of $50.00. Each new application and fee of $50.00 covers one initial test, and if needed, one retest in a certification category.

Q. Can I call for my test results?

A. No. Test results are not given out over the phone.

Q. How do I get scheduled to take a test?

A. Call (614) 752-7126. When your call is put through, ask for a "Fire Certification" application (click here) be mailed to you. Give your name and complete mailing address. After you receive your application, complete it and return it with a check or money order for $50.00 made payable to Treasurer, State of Ohio to:
  •   Division of State Fire Marshal
  •   Bureau of Testing & Registration
  •   8895 East Main Street
  •   Reynoldsburg, Ohio  43068
  •   Attention: Fire Protection Certification

Click here for schedule.

Q. How will I know when my test date is?

A. If we receive your application, payment and proof of job experience (if required) at least 14 days prior to test date, you will be notified by mail of the time, date and location of the test(s). If payment is received less than 14 days prior to test date, you may not receive your confirmation letter in time, so please plan to test on your requested date and arrive prior to test start time of 2:00 P.M.

Q. Can you offer the test(s) at my place of employment?

A. Yes, if you have a minimum of 30 applicants and can provide 20 additional seats for outside applicants.

Q. How often does my certification have to be renewed?

A. Once a year. Your renewal date is based on the first letter of your last name. Refer to the schedule below:
  •   A-G   January 2
  •   H-M   April 1
  •   N-S   July 1
  •   T-Z    October 1

Q. Do I have to retest for each renewal?

A. No. Re-testing would only be required if your license expired for more than 60 days.

Q. How much is the renewal fee?

A. One fee of $40.00 for all currently held certifications.

Q. How do I renew my license?

A. You will received a notice by mail near your renewal date. After you receive your renewal application, complete it and return it with a check or money order for $40.00 made payable to Treasurer, State of Ohio to:
  •   Division of State Fire Marshal
  •   Bureau of Testing & Registration
  •   8895 East Main Street
  •   Reynoldsburg, Ohio  43068
  •   Attention: Fire Protection Certification

Or you can renew online at http://www.com.ohio.gov/fire/eLicense.aspx.

Q. My Fire Certification has expired, what do I do now?

A. Your certification can be re-activated if done so within 60 days from when the certification expired. After 60 days from the expiration date, you will have to re-apply and retest as a "new applicant" for each certification category.

Q. I am licensed/certified to install fire protection equipment in other states, but not in Ohio, can I operate under the licenses of other states in Ohio?

A. No. Ohio does not recognize certifications of other states. You must obtain an Ohio certification.
  •   For any changes for the license, please submit them in writing to the Bureau of Testing & Registration.
  •   For Provisional licenses to apply click here.

Testing and Registration - Fireworks Exhibitor Assistants

Q. If I'm a "Licensed Fireworks Exhibitor", do the people who help me set up an exhibition have to have Fireworks Exhibitor Licenses?

A. Any person(s) assisting a Licensed Fireworks Exhibitor in the set up of an exhibition, as an employee or a volunteer, must be registered by the Fireworks Exhibitor as an assistant, with the State Fire Marshal. Exempt from this requirement is any person(s) involved in the clean-up of the discharge site, before or after discharge, providing they do not handle any "1.3G" fireworks. Once product is on site only licensed exhibitor assistants are allowed within the discharge area.

Q. How do I register a Fireworks Exhibitor Assistant?

A. You can obtain an application by clicking here, or call (614) 752-7126, ask for a Fireworks Exhibitor Form to Register a New Employee to be mailed to you. Give your name and complete mailing address. After you receive the form, complete it and return it to us with a $25.00 check or money order made payable to: The Teasurer of the State of Ohio. A $25.00 fee is required for each Fireworks Exhibitor Assistant being registered.

Testing and Registration - Fireworks Exhibitors

Important Note: It is critical that we always have your most current address on file at all times. Wrong addresses can lead to mis-directed or delayed mail and potential problems for you. It is recommended that you notify us in writing of your change(s) of address as soon as possible.

Write to:
  • Division of State Fire Marshal
  • Bureau of Testing & Registration
  • 8895 East Main Street
  • Reynoldsburg, Ohio 43068
  • Attention: Fireworks

Or e-mail us at: webfmtr@com.state.oh.us.

Q. Who is required to have a Fireworks Exhibitor License?

A. Any person who wishes to be an exhibitor (commonly referred to as a "lead shooter") of indoor, outdoor, theatrical, or special effects fireworks in Ohio.

Q. What are the minimum qualifications for a new Fireworks Exhibitor License?

A. Every applicant for a "new" Fireworks Exhibitor License shall:
  • 1. Submit a properly completed application on a form prescribed by the State Fire Marshal.
  • 2. Submit with the application one (1) of the following:
    • A. Written and signed documentation of the applicants proficiency in the handling and discharging of fireworks in a manner that emphasizes the safety and security of the public from an Ohio licensed fireworks exhibitor, manufacturer, or wholesaler; or
    • B. A certified copy of a valid license issued by another state authorizing the applicant to conduct all types of fireworks exhibitions and discharging any and all types of "1.3G" fireworks in that state.
  • 3. Be 21 years of age or older.
  • 4. Take the Fireworks Exhibitor Licensing Exam and pass with a score of 70% or higher.
    • IMPORTANT NOTE: The applicant must not have been convicted of, or have plead guilty to a felony under the laws of Ohio, any other states, or the United States of America.

Q. What is the minimum test score required to "Pass" the Fireworks Exhibitor Licensing Examination?

A. A score of 70% or higher is required to pass the examination.

Q. Is there a fee to take the Fireworks Exhibitor Licensing Examination?

A. The fee is $50.00.

Q. Where are the examinations given?

A. Tests are administered by the Bureau of Testing & Registration and held at:
  •   Division of State Fire Marshal
  •   Bureau of Testing & Registration
  •   8895 East Main Street
  •   Reynoldsburg, Ohio  43068
  •   Attention: Testing Center

Maps are available.

Q. When are examinations offered?

A. Examinations are offered 12 times a year. See the current test schedule by clicking here.

Q. How will I receive my examination results?

A. If you pass (a score of 70% or higher), your new license will be mailed to you in about 7 days.
    If you fail (a score of 69% or less), you will be sent a Notice of Failure and Opportunity for Hearing.

Q. Do I have to pay to retake the examination if I fail?

A. Yes. Your application fee covers 1 test. If you fail, you must re-apply as a new applicant and pay the fees applicable to you as a new applicant. Each new application and the fee covers 1 test.

Q. How do I get scheduled for the Fireworks Exhibitor Licensing Examination?

A. You can obtain an application by clicking here or call (614) 752-7126, ask for a Fireworks Certification Application and give your name and complete mailing address. After you received your application, complete it and return it to us with a $50.00 check or money order made payable to: The Treasurer of the State of Ohio.

Q. How will I know when my examination date is?

A. After your completed application and payment are received and processed, you will be notified by mail of the date, time, and place of your scheduled examination and a map.

Q. How often does my Fireworks Exhibitor License have to be renewed?

A. Once a year.

IMPORTANT NOTES ABOUT RENEWALS: Your renewal application and the correct fee must be RECEIVED by our office before the expiration of your current license. If your application and fees are received by our office anytime after the expiration of your current license, your renewal application will be treated as a "new applicant" application and you will be required to take and pass the Fireworks Exhibitor Licensing Examination in order to become re-licensed. All renewals must be submitted using the form provided by the State Fire Marshal. In addition, if you move, you must notify us of your new address, if we don't know your new address, you may miss your renewal notice and your license may expire, causing you to have to re-apply and retest.

Q. How do I renew my Fireworks Exhibitor License?

A. You will received a notice by mail prior to your renewal date. Complete the renewal form and return with payment. See IMPORTANT NOTES ABOUT RENEWALS above.

Q. Do I have to retest for each renewal?

A. No. Retesting would only be required if you failed to have your renewal application and fees received by our office prior to expiration of your current license, or the current license has expired.

Q. My Fireworks Exhibitor License has expired, what do I do now?

A. You must submit an application, pay the associated fees and retest the same as a new applicant.

Testing and Registration - Flame Effects

Q. How do I become a licensed Flame Effects Exhibitor?

A. You must sit for a exam. Click here for application. You must list prior experience in handling flame effects.

Q. How much is the exam?

A. The fee is $50.00 by check or money order made payable to the Treasurer, State of Ohio.

Q. How often do I have to renew my license?

A. Your renewal your license once a year on a form that is sent to you from the State Fire Marshal's office. The fee for renewal is $50.00.

Q. What if I have moved?

A. You must notify us of your new address. If we don't know your new address, you may miss your renewal notice and your license may expire, causing you to have to re-apply and retest.

Testing and Registration - Hotel / Motel

Q. Who is required to have a Hotel/Motel License?

A. A license is required for:

  • 1. Any structure consisting of one or more buildings, with more than 5 sleeping rooms kept, used, maintained, advertised, or held out to the public to be a place where sleeping accommodations are offered for pay to transient guests for a period of 30 days or less;
  • 2. Those facilities specifically constructed, kept, used, maintained, advertised, and held out to the public to offer a temporary residence to persons either relocating their residence in an area or on temporary work assignment in an area; or
  •     An "SRO Facility", meaning a facility with more than 5 sleeping rooms that are kept, used, maintained, advertised, or held out to the public as a place where sleeping rooms are offered on a single room occupancy (SRO) basis and is intended for use as a primary residence for residential guests staying for a period of more than 30 days.

Q. Who is exempt from needing a Hotel/Motel License?

A. Exempt from licensing are agricultural labor camps, apartment houses, lodging houses, rooming houses, hospitals, and college dormitories.

Q. What is the cost of a Hotel/Motel License?

A. The cost of a license varies depending on the following situations:
  •     1. For a newly built hotel / motel (or newly renovated facility that was not a hotel / motel before renovations) use this schedule:           Exterior Corridor Rooms Only $2,000.00 Interior Corridor Rooms Only $3,000.00 Exterior, Interior Corridor Rooms, & Multi-Purpose   $4,000.00
  •     2. For an existing hotel / motel facility, not currently doing business: the fee is $110.00 up to 110 rooms and $1.00 per room thereafter.
  •     3. If you are buying or have bought an existing hotel / motel facility through a true bill of sale which is currently doing business:
            the fee to transfer the license is $500.00. Click here.

Q. How do I start the process of getting a Hotel /Motel License?

A. Call (614) 752-7126, and ask for a Hotel / Motel License Application and give your name and complete mailing address. The application will be mailed to you. Click here.

Q. Does my license have to be renewed?

A. Yes. All hotel / motel licenses expire December 31st of each year and must be renewed prior to expiration for the next calendar year.

Q. What is the renewal fee?

A. The renew fee is $110.00 up to 110 rooms and $1.00 per room there after.

Q. How do I renew a Hotel/Motel License?

A. A renewal notice is mailed to the facility's address in October of each year. Complete the application and return it with the appropriate renewal fee prior to the expiration of the current license. You may also renew online.

Q. I did not receive or I cannot find my Hotel/ Motel License Renewal Application, how can I get one?

A. Call (614) 752-7126, explain your situation and ask for a Hotel / Motel License Renewal Application to be mailed to you. Remember to give your name and complete mailing address. You may also renew online.

Q. Are all Hotel / Motel Licenses the same?

A. No. There are 5 types of licenses:
  •       Regular Hotel / Motel License: Are for those facilities which have transient guests staying for a period of 30 days or less. Click here.
  •       Extended Stay Hotel / Motel License: Are for those facilities specifically constructed, kept, used, maintained, advertised, and held out to the
          public to offer a temporary residence to persons either relocating their residence in an area or on temporary work assignment in an area. Click here.
  •       Single Room Occupancy (SRO): Are those facilities with more than 5 sleeping rooms that offer such rooms to 1 occupant with the intent of the
          room being the occupant's permanent residence for period longer than 30 days. Click here.

Q. What are the requirements for an "Extended Stay Hotel / Motel License?

A. You must submit a Certificate of Occupancy Permit which is issued by the building department official which has jurisdiction for your facility. The Certificate of Occupancy Permit must clearly indicate which rooms are approved as dwelling units. Typically this is indicated on the Certificate of Occupancy Permit with the terms R-1, R-1/R-2, and also indicating what rooms are approved as dwelling units.

Q. What are the typical characteristics of an "extended stay hotel / motel"?

A. Extended stay facilities are generally, but not limited to, those facilities which are approved or can be used as dwellings having permanent facilities for cooking, living, sanitation, and sleeping.
Change of Status in owner, hotel name, status, and number of rooms, click here.

Testing and Registration - Reduced Ignition Propensity Cigarettes:

Q. What is a reduced ignition propensity cigarette (RIPC)?

A. A reduced ignition propensity (more commonly, but incorrectly known as "fire-safe") cigarette is one that has been designed to be less likely than a conventional cigarette to ignite soft furnishings such as a couch or mattress. ("Questions and Answers on NIST Reduced Ignition Propensity Cigarette Testing," National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST))

Q. How can a typical cigarette be changed into a reduced ignition propensity cigarette (RIPC)?

A. By changing the combinations of the physical properties of a cigarette, the ignition propensity of a cigarette can also be altered. Such properties include:
  • Circumference of the cigarette
  • Filtered or unfiltered
  • Tobacco packing density
  • Tobacco column length
  • Chemicals added to the paper
  • Paper permeability

In accordance with Ohio law, Reduced Ignition Propensity Cigarettes (RIPC) on the market are "banded." The bands have a lower paper permeability, which acts like a "speed bump" for the burn speed of a cigarette. (U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission CPSC Staff Assessment of Cigarette Ignition Risk)

Q. How is a cigarette tested for reduced ignition propensity?

A. An accredited laboratory shall test all cigarettes to be sold in Ohio in accordance with the American society of testing and materials standard E2187-04, titled "standard test method for measuring ignition strength of cigarettes" or any subsequent standard adopted by the state fire marshal in accordance with Ohio law. (Ohio Revised Code §3739.03(B)(1))

Q. What is the ASTM E2187, Standard Test Method for Measuring the Ignition Strength of Cigarettes?

A. The standard requires a lit cigarette to be placed on ten layers of standard filter paper in a draft-free environment and then observed to determine whether or not the tobacco column burns through its full length. A brand is in compliance with reduced ignition propensity cigarettes (RIPC) requirements if no more than twenty five percent (25%) of the 40 cigarettes tested in a trial exhibit full length burns (FLBs). ("Fire Safer" Cigarettes, Harvard School of Public Health/American Legacy Foundation, January 2005)

Q. How is this being regulated?

A. The Ohio General Assembly enacted House Bill 500 (Reduced Ignition Propensity Cigarettes) in January 2009, setting an effective date for implementation of the reduced ignition propensity cigarettes (RIPC) program as May 1, 2010. House Bill 500 established reduced ignition propensity standards for all cigarettes sold in Ohio and requires cigarette manufacturers to submit an application for certification to the state fire marshal’s office for each brand family to be sold in Ohio. All styles listed in the certification under that brand family name must meet an established cigarette fire safety performance standard, based on ASTM E2187, Standard Test Method for Measuring the Ignition Strength of Cigarettes.

Q. What is a cigarette brand family?

A. All styles of cigarettes sold under the same trademark and differentiated from one another by means of additional modifiers or descriptors, including, but not limited to, "menthol," "lights," "kings," and "100s." "Brand family" includes cigarettes sold under a brand name, whether that name is used alone or in conjunction with any other word, trademark, logo, symbol, motto, selling message, recognizable pattern of colors, or other indicia of product identification identical or similar to, or identifiable with, a previous brand of cigarettes. (Ohio Revised Code §3739.01)

Q. How will the state know if a cigarette meets the reduced ignition propensity standards?

A. Ohio Revised Code §3739.07 sets the standards for reduced ignition propensity cigarettes (RIPC) in Ohio. That section states:
  • (A) Each manufacturer shall submit to the state fire marshal a written certification that each type of cigarette listed in the certification has been tested in accordance with division (B) of section 3739.03 or section 3739.04 of the Revised Code and each type of cigarette listed in the certification meets the performance standard set forth in division (B) of section 3739.03 of the Revised Code or approved under section 3739.04 of the Revised Code.
  • (B) A manufacturer shall include in the written certification the manufacturer submits under division (A) of this section all of the following information for each type of cigarette listed in the certification:
    • (1) The brand or trade name on the cigarette package;
    • (2) The style of cigarette;
    • (3) The length of the cigarette in millimeters;
    • (4) The circumference of the cigarette in millimeters;
    • (5) The flavor of the cigarette, if applicable;
    • (6) Whether the cigarette is filter or nonfilter;
    • (7) A description of the package;
    • (8) The marking the manufacturer uses that the state fire marshal approved in accordance with section 3739.06 of the Revised Code;
    • (9) The name, address, and telephone number of the laboratory, if different than the manufacturer, that conducted the test of the cigarette;
    • (10) The date that the testing of the cigarette occurred.

Per Ohio Revised Code §3739.02, no person is permitted to sell cigarettes in Ohio unless such cigarettes meet these listed certification standards and are sold via properly marked packages.

Q. How will the consumer know if a cigarette meets the reduced ignition propensity standards?

A. Pursuant to Ohio Revised Code §3739.06:
  • (A) A manufacturer, shall place a marking on each package of cigarettes that is certified under section 3739.07 of the Revised Code. The marking shall be in eight-point type or larger, permanently printed, stamped, engraved, or embossed upon the cigarette package or cellophane wrap at or near the UPC code on the package, and consist of only the letters "FSC" that shall signify "fire standards compliant."
  • (B) A manufacturer shall include the approved mark on each package of cigarettes that is certified under section 3739.07 of the Revised Code to indicate compliance with the requirements of this chapter. A manufacturer shall use such marking for all of the cigarettes the manufacturer sells and shall apply the marking uniformly to all packages, including, but not limited to, packs, cartons, cases, and brands sold by that manufacturer.

The marking placed on cigarette packing shall be approved by the state fire marshal.

Q. What does "FSC" stand for?

A. FSC stands for fire standard compliant. This is referencing the testing standards established in Ohio Revised Code Chapter §3739.

Q. How does a manufacturer certify a cigarette brand family?

A. The initial certification must be filed with the state fire marshal by May 1, 2010 and will be valid until April 30, 2013. Any certifications received during the licensing cycle will be valid until the end of that certification period. Re-certifications will need to be filed prior to April 30, 2013 for the next certification cycle. The state fire marshal has a standard application form which can be downloaded here, and must be used to certify a cigarette brand family.

Q. What is the fee for certifying a brand family with the state fire marshal’s office?

A. The fee is $1,000 per brand family.

Q. Where can I find an application for a cigarette manufacturer to certify a reduced ignition propensity cigarette?

A. Click here for an application or you can call (614) 752-7126 and request an application to be mailed or faxed to you.

Q. Where do I send my completed certification form?

A. Mail the completed certification, payment, and related documents to:
  •   Ohio State Fire Marshal
  •   Bureau of Testing & Registration
  •   8895 East Main Street; PO Box 529
  •   Reynoldsburg, Ohio  43068

Certifications can also be faxed to 614-995-4206 or sent via email to webfmtr@com.state.oh.us. Certifications received via fax or email must be accompanied by credit card information for payment.

Q. Are applicants required to send in sample cigarette packs along with the testing results to document packaging?

A. The manufacturer is only required to submit a copy of the marking they will place on each package, carton, and case of cigarettes. The state fire marshal may request the manufacturer to submit sample cigarettes.

Q. What about the cigarettes the retailers have in stock that aren’t FSC?

A. Pursuant to Revised Code §3739.12 (B):
  • The requirements of sections 3739.02 to 3739.10 of the Revised Code shall not prohibit a wholesale dealer or retail dealer of cigarettes from selling the dealer’s inventory of cigarettes in existence on or after the effective date of this section if the dealer establishes both of the following:
    • (1) That the state tax stamps were affixed to the cigarettes prior to the effective date of this section;
    • (2) That the inventory that was purchased prior to the effective date of this section is comparable in quantity to the inventory purchased during the same period of the prior year.

Consistent with these requirements, the state fire marshal will recognize January 1, 2011 as the “sell by date” for depleting existing stockpiles of cigarettes for any wholesale dealer or agent that sells cigarettes in Ohio. Any cigarette brand sold in Ohio after May 1, 2010 must either meet the reduced ignition propensity standards for cigarettes as required by Revised Code Chapter §3739, or have a tax date stamp of April 30, 2010 or earlier.

Q. What other state agencies regulate cigarette or tobacco sales?

A. The Ohio Department of Taxation issues the wholesale cigarette dealer's licenses. For more information you can visit their website at http://tax.ohio.gov/divisions/excise/cigarettes/index.stm. Any tobacco product manufacturer whose cigarettes are sold within the state of Ohio must apply for certification with the Ohio Attorney General. For more information you can visit their website http://www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/TobaccoSearch.

Q. How do I find a list of all cigarette manufacturers and/or certified brand families?

A. Beginning May 1, 2010, a list of cigarette manufacturers will be maintained on the state fire marshal’s website and can be seen by clicking here.

Q. How will cigarette wholesalers and retail dealers know if a brand family has been certified through the State Fire Marshal’s office?

A. In addition to checking with the State Fire Marshal, Revised Code §3739.10 provides specific guidance to manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers for notification of certification procedures. It states:
  • Manufacturers: A manufacturer that certifies its cigarettes in accordance with section 3739.07 of the Revised Code shall provide a copy of the certifications to each wholesale dealer and agent to which the manufacturer sells cigarettes and shall provide sufficient copies of an illustration of the package marking used by the manufacturer pursuant to section 3739.06 of the Revised Code for each retail dealer to which the wholesale dealer or agent sells cigarettes.
  • Wholesalers: Each wholesale dealer and agent who receives a copy of a manufacturer’s certification and copies of the manufacturer’s illustration shall provide to each retail dealer to which the wholesale dealer and agent sell the manufacturer’s cigarettes a copy of the illustration provided to the wholesale dealer or agent by the manufacturer. A wholesale dealer, agent, or retail dealer shall allow the state fire marshal, the tax commissioner, and the attorney general to inspect the markings of cigarette packaging marked in accordance with section 3739.06 of the Revised Code.

Questions Regarding Ohio’s Fire Standards Compliant Cigarette Law:

Q. Based on Ohio Revised Code (R.C.) 3739.13, are cigarettes being sold in Ohio that are already certified as FSC for other states considered compliant with Ohio’s law for purposes of meeting the May 1, 2010 effective date?

A. If the cigarette meets the laboratory testing and Fire Standards Compliant (FSC) marking standards as provided in New York statute, such cigarettes will most likely, pending filing of the required certification by its manufacturer, meet the testing and marking requirements set forth R.C. Chapter 3739. However, it is important to note that, as a threshold matter, R.C. 3739.02 states:
  • Except as otherwise permitted in section 3739.12 of the Revised Code, no person shall sell or offer to sell cigarettes in this state or sell or offer to sell cigarettes to persons located in this state unless all of the following requirements are met:
    • (A) The manufacturer of the cigarettes has the cigarettes tested in accordance with the testing method specified in section 3739.03 of the Revised Code or the testing method approved by the state fire marshal under section 3739.04 of the Revised Code.
    • (B) The cigarettes meet the performance standard specified under division (B) of section 3739.03 of the Revised Code or the performance standard approved by the state fire marshal under section 3739.04 of the Revised Code.
    • (C) The manufacturer has marked the packaging of the cigarettes as required in section 3739.06 of the Revised Code.
    • (D) The manufacturer files a written certification with the state fire marshal as required under section 3739.07 of the Revised Code.

Therefore, although a cigarette may meet the testing and marking standards described in R.C. 3739, such cigarettes cannot be sold in Ohio without the acceptance by the SFM of the required manufacturer’s certification. In other words, to legally sell a cigarette in Ohio on or after May 1, 2010, the cigarettes must (at a minimum) be:
  • 1. Tested and meet the performance standards described in R.C. 3739.03 and 3739.04;
  • 2. Marked in accordance with R.C. 3739.06; and
  • 3. Certified with the SFM’s office in accordance with R.C. 3739.07.

The only exception to these rules are cigarettes that are part of an existing wholesale or retail sales stock as of May 1, 2010, and are possessed and marked by such wholesalers or retailers in accordance with R.C. 3739.12.

Q. For purposes of meeting the May 1, 2010 effective date, are the certifications and illustrations provided to wholesalers that are based on certifications and illustrations that are already authorized for other FSC states acceptable for wholesalers to use to meet the requirements of R.C. 3739.10?

A. R.C. 3739.10 provides a specific description of the process by which wholesalers and retailers are to be provided with copies of the certification documents. In particular, that section states:
  • A manufacturer that certifies its cigarettes in accordance with section 3739.07 of the Revised Code shall provide a copy of the certifications to each wholesale dealer and agent to which the manufacturer sells cigarettes and shall provide sufficient copies of an illustration of the package marking used by the manufacturer pursuant to section 3739.06 of the Revised Code for each retail dealer to which the wholesale dealer or agent sells cigarettes. Each wholesale dealer and agent who receives a copy of a manufacturer’s certification and copies of the manufacturer’s illustration shall provide to each retail dealer to which the wholesale dealer and agent sell the manufacturer’s cigarettes a copy of the illustration provided to the wholesale dealer or agent by the manufacturer. A wholesale dealer, agent, or retail dealer shall allow the State fire marshal, the tax commissioner, and the attorney general to inspect the markings of cigarette packaging marked in accordance with section 3739.06 of the Revised Code.

When reviewed in context with the other provisions of R.C. 3739, this section means that the manufacturer must provide copies of its Ohio certification documentation filed in accordance with R.C. 3739.07 to each wholesale dealer or agent that sells that cigarette. Providing copies of certifications filed by a manufacturer in another State does not meet the requirements of R.C. 3739.10.

Q. Effective May 1, 2010, does being listed in the Tobacco Directory imply that the cigarettes are also FSC certified and that cigarettes will be considered for certification as FSC only if they are listed in the Tobacco Directory?

A. Although the SFM has no jurisdiction over the application of the Tobacco Directory, the SFM has been and will continue to work with the Ohio Attorney General’s office to coordinate the listings of R.C. 3739 compliant certified cigarette brand families as maintained by the SFM with the Tobacco Directory maintained by the Ohio Attorney General. It is the intent of both agencies to have such listings synchronized at all times.

Q. Pursuant to R.C. 3719.12, can Ohio’s wholesalers and retailers sell through their non-FSC inventory after May 1, 2010 provided the following criteria are met: 1) The Ohio excise tax stamps were affixed to the cigarettes before May 1, 2010; and 2) The inventory of non-FSC cigarettes that was purchased prior to May 1, 2010 is comparable in quantity to the inventory purchased during the same period of the prior year?

A. The trend in other states and a study by Richard G. Gann, Ph.D of the National Institute of Standards and Technology/U.S. Department of Commerce, indicate that the life of a cigarette from manufacture to final sale is three to five months. Keeping this timeframe in mind, the SFM will recognize January 1, 2011, as the "sell by date" for depleting existing stockpiles of cigarettes for any wholesale dealer or agent that sells cigarettes in Ohio. Any cigarette brand sold in Ohio after May 1, 2010, must either meet the reduced ignition propensity standards for cigarettes as required by R.C. 3739 or have a tax date stamp of April 30, 2010, or earlier.

Q. When written certification is provided to the Division of State Fire Marshal that cigarettes are Fire Standards Compliant, can a spreadsheet or other document listing brand families be submitted in lieu of completing page two of the application?

A. Yes, the SFM has been accepting documentation that includes the statutorily required information. This has included the submission of a spreadsheet listing brand families and the statutorily required information for each brand family (style, length, circumference, UPC, etc.).

Q. Is the Division of State Fire Marshal open to suggestions for changes to the certification form?

A. Yes, the SFM is always willing to listen to suggestions from stakeholders. Since the FSC Cigarette program is new to Ohio, the SFM has sought input from other states, other Ohio Agencies, and stakeholders as the Division prepares for the May 1, 2010 effective date.

Q. What type of documentation should a wholesale dealer or retail dealer have to demonstrate compliance with R.C. Chapter 3739? A. For existing non-FSC stock acquired prior to May 1, 2010: Cigarette packaging should bear the appropriate tax stamp in accordance with the regulations of the Department of Taxation and as affixed to the packaging prior to May 1, 2010.

Wholesale dealers should also have the appropriate documentation to demonstrate when the tax stamps associated with the cigarette packaging were acquired and affixed to the packaging.

Retail dealers should have the appropriate documentation (from the wholesaler, such as an invoice) to show that the previously stamped (by the wholesaler) cigarette packages were acquired from the wholesaler prior to May 1, 2010. If non-FSC cigarette packages are acquired by a retail dealer from a wholesale dealer on or after May 1, 2010, the retail dealer should have documentation showing that the wholesale dealer affixed the tax stamps to such packages prior to May 1, 2010.

B. For FSC stock sold on or after May 1, 2010: All fire standards compliant cigarettes sold on or after May 1, 2010 shall be certified by the manufacturer in accordance with R.C. 3739.07 and be packaged in accordance with R.C. 3739.06.

Acceptable evidence that FSC cigarettes are being sold in accordance with R.C. Chapter 3739 includes: properly marked cigarette packaging (the "FSC" marking described in R.C. 3739.06(A)) and a wholesale/retail dealer production of a copy of the manufacturer’s certification filed with the State Fire Marshal listing the specific cigarettes brand being sold by the wholesaler or retailer.

Q. Contact information for the State of Ohio agencies involved in the fire standards compliant cigarette program:

Ohio Department of Commerce, Division of State Fire Marshal
Department of Taxation Any questions or complaints regarding product quality should be directed towards the cigarette manufacturer. Click here for a list of cigarette manufacturers that have brand families certified by the state fire marshal’s office.

Underground Storage Tank Regulations (BUSTR)

Q. What does BUSTR regulate?

A. BUSTR regulates petroleum and hazardous substances stored in underground storage tanks. There are a few exemptions to the rule:
  • Heating oil tanks used for heating on the premises (permit/inspect by local fire department. OEPA regulates any release).
  • Farm and residential tanks smaller than 1,100 gallons (permit/inspect by local fire department. OEPA regulates any release).
  • Abandoned tanks of unknown owner, origin and contents (permit through local fire department or SFM/Code Enforcement Bureau).
  • A list of hazardous substances that are regulated for tank removal are found in OAC 1301:7-9-03. Clean-up of these are not regulated by BUSTR. Several other exceptions are listed in the rules themselves.

Q. How do I get my tanks removed?

A. If you are the "owner" as defined in OAC 1301:7-9-02:
  • Register tanks or make sure they are registered with BUSTR.
  • Obtain the proper permit (BUSTR or Delegated Authority Fire Department as appropriate.
  • Contact (or hire) a certified Installer/Remover to perform or supervise the tank removal.
  • Contact a BUSTR Inspector or Certified UST Inspector (CUSTI) to oversee removal activities.
  • Contact an environmental company if environmental sampling is required.

Q. Who is responsible for removal and clean-up of tanks on my property?

A. The Fire Code requires the current "property owner" to remove out-of-service UST’s from the ground. The environmental sampling, investigation, and clean-up is only required to be conducted by the "owner" as defined in OAC 1301:7-9-02. Please note the determination of the "owner’ may be very complex and detailed.

Q. Does BUSTR have a mailing list? How do I get on it?

A. Yes, BUSTR does have a mailing list and publications are distributed periodically. Contact the BUSTR office to have your name placed on the list.

Q. Where do I get a permit to install, remove, abandon, upgrade or repair tanks?

A. If your local fire department has been granted delegated authority by the State Fire Marshal to issue permits and perform inspections, contact the fire department for the permit. Please contact BUSTR to determine if your local fire department has delegation of authority.

If you local fire department is not delegated, the UST owner or operator must apply for a BUSTR permit. If you are the "owner" of a registered facility, you can apply for a permit online. Otherwise, you must contact the Bureau of Licensing and Certification at (614-752-7126) to request an application be mailed to you or you can download the "Permit Application" form from the web site at www.com.ohio.gov/fire/BUSTMain.aspx by clicking on "Online Office." A BUSTR permit is valid for 180 days upon issuance. Any work needing performed on or after the 180 day expiration date requires a new permit. Ai addition, contact your local fire department to determine if a additional permit is required. The BUSTR permit fee is $35.00.

A state or BUSTR certified inspector is required to be on site during installation, abandonment, removal or repair of underground storage tanks (USTs). The inspection fee for a state inspector is $60.00 per hour or any fraction thereof. The fee for a state certified private inspector CUSTI is established by the inspector.

Q. How do I find the regulations? What Publications are available from BUSTR?

A. The regulations and publications are available online at www.com.ohio.gov/fire/BUSTMain.aspx by using the Downloads Page. You can order what is not listed using the Publication Order Form.

Q. What is Financial Responsibility?

A. Financial responsibility is similar to automobile insurance. Like owners of automobiles, owners and operators of USTs must assure that they will have the financial wherewithal to pay for damage their USTs may cause if they experience a petroleum release. Financial responsibility means that if you own or operate a petroleum UST in Ohio, you must ensure in ways that are spelled out in 1301:7-9-05 of the Ohio Administrative Code, that there will be money available to help pay for the costs of third-party liability and the necessary corrective action from al leak from a petroleum UST. These costs might include cleaning up leaked petroleum, correcting envirronmental damage, supplying drinking water, or compensation people for personal injury or property damage. More information is available at www.com.ohio.gov/fire/BUSTMain.aspx by clicking on Financial Responsibility.

For additional information regarding the Petroleum Underground Storage Tank Release Compensation Board please reference their web page at www.petroboard.org.

Q. How do I become a Certified Tank Inspector?

A. On January 1, 1997, the State Fire Marshal implemented a training and certification program to streamline the inspections performed on installation, abandonment, removal and repair of underground storage tanks (USTs). First time applicants for certification must meet requirements set forth by 1301:7-9-15 of the Ohio Administrative Code. For more information, please reference the BUSTR forms web page at www.com.ohio.gov/fire/Forms.aspx#FMTR and click on "Becoming a Certified Tank Installer" and "List of Certified Inspectors".

Q. How do I become a Certified Tank Installer?

A. Since January 7, 1990, Section 3737.881 of the Ohio revised Code has required that an installer certified by the State Fire Marshal supervise the installation, abandonment, removal, or repair of underground storage tanks (USTs). First time applicants for certification must meet requirements set forth by 1301:7-9-11 of the Ohio Administrative Code. For more information, please reference the BUSTR web page at http://www.com.ohio.gov/documents/fire_becoming_cert_tank_inst.pdf .

UST Permit-Related Questions

Q. When do I need to obtain a permit?

A. The permit must be obtained prior to any work being performed on a underground storage tank system (UST). This includes the installation, abandonment, removal and repair of a UST.

Q. How do I obtain a permit to work an a State Fire Marshal regulated tank?

A. You can obtain a permit application by calling (614) 752-7126 or you can download the "Permit Application" form from the web site at www.com.ohio.gov/fire/BUSTMain.aspx. After you receive your application, complete, and return it with a check or money order for $35.00 made out to Treasurer, State of Ohio and mail to:
  •   Division of State Fire Marshal
  •   Bureau of Testing & Registration
  •   Attention: UST Permits
  •   8895 East Main Street
  •   Reynoldsburg, Ohio  43068

Q. How do I receive my permit?

A. Once the permit application has been processed, the permit will be mailed to you.

Q. How long is a permit valid?

A. The permit is valid for 180 days from the date it is issued.

Q. Can I use one permit for multiple UST’s at one location?

A. Yes. Permits cover one location, not any particular UST’s.

Q. Can I use one permit for multiple locations?

A. No. Each location requires its own permit.

Q. If I have work in progress on a regulated UST and the 180 day ends for the permit, what do I do?

A. Before the permit expires, apply for and receive another permit. A permit expires on day 180 whether or not the associated work on the UST is completed or not. You are not allowed to do work requiring a permit on a regulated UST without having a valid permit in-hand.

UST Registration-Related Questions

Q. I have just installed a new UST. Does it have to be registered with BUSTR?

A. Yes. New regulated UST’s are required to be registered with BUSTR within 30 days of the UST being put into service.

Q. What is required to register my new UST with the Division of State Fire Marshal’s BUSTR?

A. Submit a properly completed UST Registration form along with a check or money order to Treasurer, State of Ohio. The registration fee is $50.00 per UST that is being registered.

Q. How do I obtain a UST Registration form?

A. You can obtain a UST Registration form by calling the Bureau of Testing & registration at (614) 752-7126 to have a Registration form mailed to you. Give you name and complete mailing address. After you receive your form, complete and return it with a check or money order for $50.00 per UST to be registered made payable to Treasurer, State of Ohio and mail to:
  •   Division of State Fire Marshal
  •   Bureau of Testing & Registration
  •   Attention: UST Registration
  •   8895 East Main Street
  •   Reynoldsburg, Ohio  43068

Or go to the BUSTR web page at www.com.ohio.gov/fire/forms.aspx#FMTR. This will allow you to electronically process your UST Registration.

Q. How often does my UST registration have to be renewed?

A. Annually.

Q. How much is the annual registration renewal fee?

A. $50.00 per tank.

Q. How do I obtain an annual registration renewal form?

A. Annual renewal registration forms are mailed out to the listed UST owners not later than 30 days prior to July 1st of each year.

Q. When is my annual registration due?

A. The annual registration form and appropriate fee are due no later than July 1st of each year.

UST Publication and Public Record Request

Q. How do I obtain UST related publications, including a copy of the current rules/regulations?

A. An order form is available by going to the BUSTR web page at www.com.ohio.gov/fire/BUSTMain.aspx and clicking on Online Office or by calling (614) 752-7938. When your call is put through, ask for a "UST Publication" form to be mailed to you. Give your name and complete mailing address. After you receive the order form, complete it and return it to: BUSTR, 8895 East Main Street, Reynoldsburg, Ohio 43068, Attention: UST Publications. There are fees associated with BUSTR publications in many instances. If a fee is involved, you will be invoiced when the publications are mailed to you.

Q. How do I get to look at a UST file for a particular location?

A. You can either come into the office to look directly at the file or you can order a copy of the file or a portion of the file you are interested in at $0.05 per page, plus postage.

Q. How do I arrange to come into the office to look art a particular file?

A. Call (614) 752-7938, fax your request to the Records Management Officer at (614) 752-7942, or mail your request to the attention of:
  •   Division of State Fire Marshal
  •   BUSTR
  •   8895 East Main Street
  •   Reynoldsburg, Ohio  43068

You will be contacted wit a time and date for the review of the file that you requested.

Q. Can I obtain copies of part or all of a particular UST file?

A. Yes. Copies are $0.05 per page, plus postage if they are mailed to you. If only certain documents are desired, it is important that you explain exactly which documents you want as most files contain hundreds to thousands of pages. If desired, most public documents can be scanned and sent electronically. This requires the recipient to be able to receive the document using the agency format. There is no charge for this service.

Q. How do I obtain copies of part or all of a particular UST file?

A. Call (614) 752-7938, or fax you request to the Records management Officer at (614) 752-7942, or mail your request to:
  •   Division of State Fire Marshal
  •   BUSTR
  •   8895 East Main Street
  •   Reynoldsburg, Ohio  43068

BUSTR will prepare the documents as necessary. Please be reminded that copies are $0.05 per page plus postage if they are mailed.