Freedom of Information Act
The purpose of the Freedom of Information Act (“Act”), found at 5 ILCS 140/1, is to provide public access to the public records in the possession of the Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) while, simultaneously, protecting legitimate privacy interests and maintaining administrative efficiency.
Before Submitting a Request
Before submitting a request for information under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA Request), feel free to explore the OSFM Online Services area for immediate access to much of our most requested information from our various divisions and programs. This area provides information that is free, immediately available, and can be directly printed or saved to your computer.
Submitting FOIA Requests to the OSFM
FOIA requests to the OSFM must be made in writing. Requests shall be legible, specific and in English. The requests can be completed using the FOIA Request online form.
You can also fill the form out, print it and then mail or fax to our office but DO NOT DO BOTH as this will result in duplicate requests being sent to our office.
If you decide to mail your request to our office you may complete the form legibly and in English, print the form out (WITHOUT submitting the form), and mail or fax it to the Illinois State Fire Marshal. Our mailing address is:
Illinois State Fire Marshal
Attn: OSFM FOIA Officer
1035 Stevenson Drive
Springfield, IL 62703
Fax number is: (217) 524-5487
If your request falls within the Property Fire Loss Act [215 ILCS 145/1], DO NOT complete the form above. The OSFM Electronic Property Fire Loss Act Submission Form must be completed instead. You may still submit the form via the above-mentioned methods, however. If you wish to fax a Property Fire Loss Act request, you must use this fax number instead: (217) 785-4715.
- General Information
The OSFM’s public records are maintained and organized within separate OSFM Divisions by site location, facility name, grant/contract project, date order, individual name, etc. It is more important to provide specific descriptive information when requesting information through the FOIA process in order to ensure that the correct responsive information is provided. Records will be searched and requests will be filled based upon the information provided by the requestor. FOIA is designed to provide copies of public records. It is not designed to require a public body, like the OSFM, to answer questions.
- Document available for Immediate Disclosure
Pursuant to the Act, the OSFM has designated the following document(s) to be immediately available, upon request: Recent OSFM Annual Reports are here
- Record List
Pursuant to the Act, the OSFM has prepared a reasonably current list of all types or categories of records under its control. This list is available upon request or it can be viewed and downloaded here.
- Fee Scale
- OSFM’s public records are maintained in various media formats that may include paper, microfilm, digital images and computerized records. Fees that may be assessed depend upon the type of media and quantities of records requested. There is no fee for requests for electronic documents. However, the OSFM may charge an individual requesting electronic documentation for the actual cost of purchasing the recording medium (if any) required to comply with a FOIA request. There is no fee for the first 50 pages of standard, black and white, copies. Requests that produce greater than 50 standard, black and white copies may, at the OSFM’s discretion, generate a $0.15 per-page charge. Other fees and charges may include:
|Type of Duplication||Charge|
|Black and White paper copy from paper original, per page
(not exceeding 8½ inches x 14 inches)
|Color paper copy from paper original, per page
(not exceeding 8½ inches x 14 inches)
|Per Compact Disk||$0.25|
|Batch processing, per CPU Hour||$615.00|
|Per tape mount||$0.95|
|Paper printout, per 1000 lines||$0.33|
|Black and white photograph (8 inches x 10 inches)|
|From negative, per photograph||$1.50|
|From photograph, per photograph||$1.50|
The fee for certifying copies is $1.00 per individual record.
Fee Waiver Request
You are permitted to request a waiver or reduction of copying or production fees. To do so, please include the following statement (or a similar statement) in your written FOIA request: “I request a waiver of all fees associated with this request.” If using the OSFM’s online form, please check the box requesting a fee waiver. In each case, you must include a specific explanation as to why your request for information is in the public’s – and not simply the requester’s – interest and merits a fee waiver. Waiver or reduction of fees associated with FOIA requests is considered in the public interest “if the principal purpose of the request is to access and disseminate information regarding the health, safety and welfare or the legal rights of the general public and is not for the principal purpose of personal or commercial benefit.” 5 ILCS 140/6(c). In setting the amount of the waiver or reduction, the OSFM is authorized to consider the amount of materials requested and the cost of copying them.