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State Fire Marshal

Randy Varela State Fire Marshal

The New Mexico State Fire Marshal’s Office (SFMO) is now part of DHSEM. We provide a number of services related to the safety of residents and guests of the state. 

Fire Protection Grant

The Fire Protection Fund (FPF) receives funding through a 3% premium
included on home, vehicle, and other insurance policies. A portion of the FPF is used to finance the State Fire Marshal’s Office’s (SFMO) operations, and the remainder is distributed to New Mexico’s fire departments through two distinct channels.

FPF funds that aren’t used for ISO distributions are transferred to the Fire Protection Grant Fund, which enables departments to advocate for specific projects and critical needs through a competitive grant process.

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NM Firefighter's Training Academy

Fire Training Academy

The Academy is dedicated to meeting the needs of a complex and dynamic fire service by providing programs of the highest quality. The New Mexico Firefighters Training Academy’s objectives and goals are: (1) to provide training programs designed to develop the basic and advanced skills necessary for students to be more effective members of the fire service and society; (2) to provide the best instruction and training possible in all areas of the fire service; (3) to serve the public at large by providing education services, training, and counseling; and (4) to provide a means to allow firefighters to demonstrate their ability to meet professional qualification standards.

Fire Service Support Bureau

The Fire Support Bureau is responsible for the distribution of funds from the State Fire Fund and provides assistance to local fire departments in preparation of Insurance Service Office (ISO) surveys. The bureau also reviews fire apparatus specifications in accordance with National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards, performs site feasibility inspections for new fire stations and districts, and conducts certification inspections of new stations and fire districts for funding purposes. The services provided by the bureau promote increased fire protection in all communities which result in reduced loss of life and property from fire incidents and lower insurance rates (where applicable) for the citizens of New Mexico.

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NM Fire Investigation Bureau logo

Fire Investigations

The Fire Investigations Bureau is responsible for determining the origin, cause, and circumstances related to a fire incident. State fire investigators respond to requests for assistance from local fire departments and law enforcement agencies and assist the Office of the Medical Examiner (OMI) in fatal fire incidents.

Code Enforcement

The Code Enforcement Bureau provides for the life safety of occupants in buildings, structures, and facilities, the prevention of fire and the reduction of property losses due to fires. The State Fire Marshal’s Office has adopted the ICC International Fire Code 2021 edition to assure standardization of life safety concerns statewide.

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Fire Protection Fund Distribution FY 2024

News: Fire Safety Items for Day Care Facilities:

  1. Request that the local Fire Department or State Fire Marshal’s Office conduct an annual fire inspection for code compliance, proper safety equipment and employee safety training.
  2. Conduct fire safety training for new employees and refresher training for all employees to review location of fire exits and the location and proper use of fire extinguishers.
  3. Conduct monthly fire drills.
  4. Maintain the proper staff to client ratio per state and local requirements.
  5. Install proper smoke detectors per requirements and test each month.  Batteries in the detectors should be replaced at least annually.
  6. Provide two exits for all sleeping areas.
  7. Check fire extinguishers monthly and have serviced annually.
  8. Store any flammable liquids in proper containers and in secure areas.
  9. Ensure that all fire exits are not locked during business hours.