The Department is one of the few agencies in the Bay Area to staff full time fire investigator positions, augmented by on-call personnel. Investigation of fires provides information on the cause of local fire problems, which provides information to the local news media regarding fire safety education.
Arson Investigation provides for the apprehension of arsonists who cause billions of dollars in property damage, fraud and death each year. The Department also uses the AIRS program to track arson registrants/suspects and compile fire statistics. With local police agencies, the Santa Clara County Fire Investigation Unit track down many arson investigations, as they account for about 25% of fires. The Santa Clara County Fire Department places a strong emphasis on quelling arson fires.