Fire Marshal Records Request
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
What is the Freedom of Information Act? Pursuant to Section 2.2-3700 et seq. of the Code of Virginia, as amended, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) provides citizens of Virginia with access to existing public records. This access is also provided to newspapers and magazines with circulation in Virginia, as well as radio and television stations broadcasting into the Commonwealth. There are few statutory requirements for making a request under FOIA. Section 2.2-3704 indicates only that FOIA inquiries should be directed to the custodian of the requested records and must identify those records with reasonable specificity. This section also grants the custodian of the records the right to require a requester to provide his or her name and legal address.
As a result of these minimal requirements, there is no form or format that has been adopted by either the Commonwealth or Prince William County for the submission of FOIA requests. However, the following is suggested:
- That the request be in writing.
- That the request be directed to the custodian of the records, if known to the requester.
- That the request specify the documents rather than the information sought.
- That the request be as specific as possible regarding the documents sought.
- For more information on FOIA, click the link: Freedom of Information Act.
Types of Documents
The requested documents include the following:
- Fire Incident Reports
- Fire Marshal Report (if applicable)
- Fire Marshal Investigative Report (if applicable)
- Fire Code Violations – Due Diligence
- Environment Assessments – Hazardous Materials Incident Reports
- Any other Fire Marshal related request
Records routinely withheld by the Fire Marshal include certain fire investigation reports. Where the origin and cause of a fire event is classified as incendiary, under investigation, or undetermined, only the fire investigation report cover sheet will be released. Active criminal fire investigation reports will not be released.
Please check with the Prince William County Fire Marshal’s Office for applicable fees, the fee is non-refundable. 703 792-6360.
You may submit your request in person, by fax, email, or mail to the address below. Please be as specific as possible in your request to include the type of document. When requesting fire reports, please include the incident address, date, and approximate time. Thank you.
William County Department of Fire & Rescue
Office of the Fire Marshal
5 County Complex Ct, Suite 160
Woodbridge, VA 22192
Attn: FOIA Requests