In 1953, at the urging of the Volunteer Fire Service, the State Legislature created the Office of the State Fire Marshal and directed that regulations, reflecting nationally recognized standards, be promulgated to enhance life safety and property conservation for the citizens of Delaware.

The State Fire Marshal's Office functions as an independent state agency under the State Fire Prevention Commission, which promulgates the State Fire Prevention Regulations, as enforced by the State Fire Marshal's Office. As the law enforcement agency charged by state statute with the suppression and investigation of arson, the State Fire Marshal's Office provides the lead role in fire and arson investigations, statewide. The agency is charged with assisting the Chief of any fire department on request, inspections and code enforcement in health care facilities, educational occupancies, public assembly, public accommodations, flammable and combustible liquids, flammable gases, explosives and fireworks.

The State Fire Marshal's Office is funded by revenues from the General Fund Appropriations of the State and by revenues generated by the agency from plan reviews of new construction and licensing fees associated with fire protection systems.

The State Fire Marshal's Office is responsible for the comprehensive compliance with the state statute for the installation of smoke detection devices in all residential occupancies, which will greatly reduce the likelihood of injuries and deaths from fire.

The State Fire Marshal is appointed by the State Fire Prevention Commission and serves a four year term. Under the direction of the State Fire Marshal, the daily operations of the agency are carried out by a team of dedicated staff members operating out of the headquarters in Dover, with regional offices in Georgetown and Wilmington.

The objective of the State Fire Marshal's Office is to provide a fire safe environment for the citizens of Delaware and all who visit and carries out its mandate for Public Service, through the work of three divisions, Administration, Investigations & Technical Services.