EMS & Fire Certifications

Hazard Recognition Officer Certification

"Hazard Recognition Officer" means an individual certified by the chief executive officer of the State Board of Emergency Medical, Fire, and Transportation Services pursuant to section section 4765.55 of the Revised Code and Chapter Chapter 4765-20 of the Administrative Code to perform limited fire safety inspections. The Hazard Recognition Officer certification provides certificate holders with the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to conduct fire and life safety inspections in Ohio. The certification is optional and meets the minimum requirements set forth in the nationally recognized standard, NFPA 1031: "Standard for Professional Qualifications for Fire Inspector and Plan Examiner" for Fire Inspector I.

To be eligible for certification, students shall successfully complete the forty-hour Hazard Recognition Officer course through an Ohio chartered fire training program. Course participants gain an understanding of the fire inspector's role in code enforcement, general fire prevention practices, fire safety requirements related to HAZ MAT, electrical systems and fire protection systems, as well as learning the skills necessary to properly conduct fire safety inspections.

The certification must be renewed every three years, with six hours of continuing education required during each three-year cycle.

NOTE: The title, "Hazard Recognition Officer" was chosen to eliminate confusion regarding the ability to write fire code violation citations. The Hazard Recognition Officer is equivalent to NFPA Fire Inspector I. Only an Ohio certified Fire Safety Inspector (NFPA Fire Inspector II) is permitted to write citations as set forth in Chapter 3737 of the Revised Code. Hazard Recognition Officers do not have authority to write citations and must forward all fire safety code violations to a certified Fire Safety Inspector for follow up.

Course Entrance Requirements

Prior to admission into a Hazard Recognition Officer course, an individual shall meet all of the following requirements:

  • Possess a current firefighter certificate issued under section section 4765.55 of the Ohio Revised Code and 4765-20 of the Ohio Administrative Code that is in good standing
  • Shall be employed by one of the following:
    • The office of the state fire marshal
    • A firefighting agency as defined in division (A)(3) of section section 9.60 of the Revised Code
    • A private fire company as defined in division (A)(5) of section section 9.60 of the Revised Code that is providing fire protection in accordance with division (B), (C), or (D) of section section 9.60 of the Revised Code


An applicant for a Hazard Recognition Officer certificate shall meet all of the following requirements:

  • Successfully complete a Hazard Recognition Officer training course through an Ohio chartered fire training program and receive a certificate of course completion
  • Pass the knowledge and practical examinations as set forth in rule 4765-20-06 of the Ohio Administrative Code
  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Have not been convicted of any felony, a misdemeanor committed in the course of practice or a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude
  • Have not committee fraud, misrepresentation, or material deception in applying for or obtaining a certificate issued under section 4765.55 of the Ohio Revised Code
  • Successfully complete the following Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) training courses:
    • National incident management system course IS-700
    • Incident command system course ICS-100 or online equivalent

Ohio Administrative Code: 4765-20-03


To Apply

An initial Hazard Recognition Officer application may not be submitted until you have completed all course requirements and have been approved to take the state certification examination. Upon successful completion of the certification examination conducted at an Ohio chartered fire training program, you will automatically be directed to the application for certification. Do not close out of the examination site until you have completed and submitted the application.


Current Fire Safety Inspector certificate holders may drop-back to the Hazard Recognition Officer certification through one of the following actions:

  • A Fire Safety Inspector (FSI) who wishes to "drop back" in the middle of his/her certification period will be required to submit a signed written request to the Division of EMS.
  • A Fire Safety Inspector (FSI) who waits until his/her certification renewal date will be able to "drop back" electronically when they renew his/her fire certifications online.


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