The police’s duties in connection with fires are related primarily to the general order and safety of the fire location. The police isolate the fire location and secure the operations of the rescue department, prevent additional accidents and direct traffic.
The police investigate some fires
If a crime suspected in connection with the fire, the police conducts a pre-trial investigation of the incident according to the Criminal Investigation Act.
The police starts a police investigation of the incident according to the Police Act if the fire has caused
- a death
- a serious injury
- significant damage to property
- the police find that an investigation is needed for some other reason to clarify the cause of the fire.
Other authorities or private entities may also conduct their own investigations of the fire. These entities are, among others
- rescue services that investigate fires based on the Rescue Act,
- the Safety Investigation Authority that conducts investigations based on the Safety Investigation Act
- the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (TUKES) that conducts investigations based on the law on the safety of the handling of dangerous chemicals and explosives and the law on electrical safety
- insurance companies that conduct investigations based on insurance contracts between company and client.
Emergency authorities take care of rescue and monitoring tasks related to fires and are responsible for notifying the police if there’s reason to suspect that the fire has been caused intentionally or negligently.