Were accustomed to seeing investigators from the San Angelo fire marshals office on the scene at major fires. Its their job to determine how a fire started, and who or what caused it. But the fire marshals office handles a variety of functions, from inspections to education. Don Vardeman is a certified firefighter, peace officer, arson investigator, state inspector and fire instructor. And as of Monday, July 16, he officially took the helm as head of the San Angelo Fire Marshals office. Vardeman, now in his 28th year with the San Angelo Fire Department, has served as acting fire marshall for the past six months. The fire marshals office encompasses more than just fire investigations. Vardeman now heads a department with six employees -- investigators, inspectors and safety officers. Inspectors from the fire marshals office make the rounds checking on the safety of buildings. In extreme cases, buildings deemed a threat to safety are targeted for demolition. Vardeman says plans call for a citywide survey to identify buildings deemed the greatest threat, and target those buildings for demolition. Vardeman says building inspections have doubled over the past six months. And he says with more inspectors on duty, he hopes to continue with more frequent safety inspections and enforcement efforts. Another area supervised by the fire marshals office is education and fire prevention. That includes presentations to children in schools, and to adults at local businesses. "We do in-services for nursing homes, hospitals, the services that go out to peoples homes and take care of them," Vardeman says. "We do fire extinguisher demonstrations for companies." The work of fire investigation falls under the supervision of the San Angelo Fire Department, while the work of fire inspection, education and prevention fall under the citys planning department. But Vardeman says it all ties together. "When you can see what starts a fire, it makes it a whole lot easier to know how to prevent it."