Operational preparedness

Fire investigation and research

Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) Fire Investigation and Research Unit (FIRU) provides a range of investigative and research services to both internal and external customers including research into human and structural behaviour during fire, and the associated impacts for performance based building design.

The Fire Investigation and Research Unit assists with determining fire causes and liaises closely with Police and other investigators.

The objective of FIRU is to improve measures against deliberately lit fires and ensure the safety of the community by determining the causes of fires; particularly those caused by faulty appliances in use by the public.

Investigators also interact with FRNSW personnel to assist with fire cause determination, fire report compilation and submission of reports and statements to Police and through the court system.

Investigators from FIRU attend fires throughout the State, particularly those where:

  • there has been a loss of life or major injury from fire
  • the fire is considered major
  • the fire is considered unusual, suspicious or deliberate
  • the cause is not readily apparent
  • the Incident Commander requests FIRU attendance

When attending fires the Investigators are able to observe first-hand the behaviour of the fire, methods of extinguishment, building behaviour and human behaviour.

Firefighters find evidence at fires and preserve it for later production in court or continuing investigations. FIRU officers supervise and instruct on recognition and preservation of that evidence. They also obtain current and relevant information to assist in the investigation of the fire origin and cause.

FIRU is also responsible for analysing the built environment in the context of human behaviour in fires, structural behaviour, impact and cost of fires to the organisation and the community.

This information is then used by fire engineers, fire code reform bodies, tertiary organisations, fire services and the designers of fire safety systems etc.

Firefighter Championships

The Firefighter Championships is one of FRNSW's proudest and longest traditions, running for over 100 years.

The Championships showcase the skills and expertise a modern firefighter uses every day, be it attacking a fire or responding to a major emergency.

Every year the state-wide competition attracts firefighters from FRNSW and the NSW Rural Fire Service. Teams of firefighters compete against each other in a range of events designed to hone their fire fighting skills.

As for the people of NSW - you are given the rare opportunity to see first hand just how firefighters respond to emergencies. You can also pick up vital fire safety tips which can help you prepare and prevent fires and emergencies before they happen.

To learn more about, and to view results, event dates and photos from the Firefighter Championships, visit