Fire Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Below are some of the general FAQs presented to the Fire Department Staff.

Do We Have A Burning Restriction in Farmington?

The DNR issues statewide regulations, if you live within a municipality that controls the open burning, local permits, or more stringent regulations may apply. The City of Farmington requires a Burn Permit for open burn fires, click on the titles below for more information.

Please call 651-280-6945 if you have questions.

Are fireworks allowed in Farmington?

The only fireworks that are legal in the State of Minnesota are non-explosive and non-aerial (such as sparklers, cones, and tubes that sparkle, snakes, and party poppers). Any fireworks that explode leave the ground, or shoot anything other than sparks into the air are illegal. You must be 18 years old to purchase fireworks and fireworks are not permitted on public property.

How do I make a fire escape plan?

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends making a home escape plan as an important step to protect you and your family from fire. Make your own home fire escape plan using this printable file or follow the instructions below:

  • Draw a map of your home. Show all doors and windows.

  • Visit each room. Find two ways out.

  • All windows and doors should open easily. You should be able to use them to get outside.

  • Make sure your home has smoke alarms. Push the test button to make sure each alarm is working.

  • Pick a meeting place outside. It should be in front of your home.

  • Everyone will meet at the meeting place.

  • Make sure your house or building number can be seen from the street.

  • Talk about your plan with everyone in your home.

  • Learn the emergency phone number for your fire department.

  • Practice your home fire escape drill!

Everyone in a household has a role to play in your home's fire safety. The NFPA created a Family's Fire Checklist to help become familiar with smoke alarms and home fire escape planning.

What are the important items to know about Fire Prevention?

The U.S. Fire Administration would like to remind you of some important fire safety and prevention information.

  • Plan and practice escape plans several times a year.

  • Make sure your whole family knows when and how to call emergency telephone numbers.

  • Obtain and learn how to use a fire extinguisher.

  • Install carbon monoxide detectors.

  • Consider installing residential fire sprinklers in your home.

Visit the U.S. Fire Administration's website with questions about fire safety.

Where can I dispose of a fire extinguisher?

Fire extinguishers can be brought to the Dakota County Recycling Zone to be recycled for free. The Recycling Zone can be found at 3365 Dodd Road in Eagan, MN. 

View the Recycling Zone website for drop-off guidelines and hours. 

Smoke Alarm and Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detector FAQs

Below are some of the frequently asked questions specific to smoke alarms and CO detectors.

Why should my home have smoke alarms?

In the event of a fire, a smoke alarm can save your life and those of your loved ones. They are a very important means of preventing house and apartment fire fatalities by providing an early warning signal -- so you and your family can escape. Smoke alarms are one of the best safety devices you can buy and install to protect yourself, your family, and your home.

What types of smoke alarms are available?

There are many different brands of smoke alarms available on the market but they fall under two basic types: ionization and photoelectric.

Ionization alarms sound more quickly when a flaming, fast moving fire occurs. Photoelectric alarms are quicker at sensing smoldering, smoky fires. There are also combination smoke alarms that combine ionization and photoelectric into one unit, called dual sensor smoke alarms.

Because both ionization and photoelectric smoke alarms are better at detecting distinctly different yet potentially fatal fires, and because homeowners cannot predict what type of fire might start in a home, the USFA recommends the installation of both ionization and photoelectric or dual sensor smoke alarms.

In addition to the basic types of alarms, there are alarms made to meet the needs of people with hearing disabilities. These alarms may use strobe lights that flash and/or vibrate to assist in alerting those who are unable to hear standard smoke alarms when they sound.


How do I select and install a smoke alarm?

Choose smoke alarms that have the label of a recognized testing laboratory. Install smoke alarms inside each bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement. On levels without bedrooms, install alarms in the living room (or den or family room) or near the stairway to the upper level, or in both locations. Smoke alarms installed in the basement should be installed on the ceiling at the bottom of the stairs leading to the next level. Smoke alarms should be installed at least 10 feet (3 meters) from a cooking appliance to minimize false alarms when cooking. Mount smoke alarms high on walls or ceilings (remember, smoke rises). Wall-mounted alarms should be installed not more than 12 inches away from the ceiling (to the top of the alarm). If you have ceilings that are pitched, install the alarm within 3 feet of the peak but not within the apex of the peak (four inches down from the peak). Don't install smoke alarms near windows, doors, or ducts where drafts might interfere with their operation. When interconnected smoke alarms are installed, it is important that all of the alarms are from the same manufacturer. If the alarms are not compatible, they may not sound.




Where do I put smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors?

Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including the basement. Many fatal fires begin late at night or in the early morning. For extra safety, install smoke alarms both inside and outside sleeping areas. Since smoke and many deadly gases rise, installing your smoke alarms at the proper level will provide you with the earliest warning possible. Always follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions.

Install CO detectors on each floor of the home. If you are getting a single carbon monoxide detector, place it near the sleeping areas and make certain the alarm is loud enough to wake you up. Follow the installation instructions found in the manufacturer's use and care booklet that accompanies the product.

Are smoke alarms hard to install?

If your smoke alarms are hard wired, that is wired into the electrical system, you will need to have a qualified electrician do the initial installation or install replacements.

For battery powered smoke alarms, all you will need for installation is a screw driver. Some brands are self adhesive and will easily stick to the wall or ceiling where they are placed. For all smoke alarm installations, be sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions because there are differences between the various brands. If you are uncomfortable standing on a ladder, ask a relative or friend for help . If you have problems installing a smoke alarm contact the Fire Department (on the non-emergency telephone number) at 651-280-6840.

How do I keep my smoke alarm/co detector working?

If you have a smoke alarm with batteries:

  1. Smoke Alarms powered by long-lasting batteries are designed to replace the entire unit according to manufacturer’s instructions.

  2. In standard type battery powered smoke alarms, the batteries need to be replaced at least once per year and the whole unit should be replaced every 8-10 years.

  3. In hard-wired, battery backup smoke alarms, the batteries need to be checked monthly, and replaced at least once per year. The entire unit should be replaced every 8-10 years.

  4. Replace your CO detector batteries once a year and the unit every five years.

What if the alarm goes off while I am cooking?

If a smoke alarm sounds while you're cooking, and you've confirmed there is no danger, you should keep the battery inside the smoke detector! Do not remove it. Disabling a smoke alarm or removing the battery can be a deadly mistake. Open a window or door and press the Silence Button on your alarm. Wave a towel at the alarm to clear the air. Move the entire alarm several feet away from the kitchen or bathroom. After the smoke clears, you should place your alarm back on the ceiling or wall. To reduce nuisance alarms from cooking, keep it at least 10 feet away from cooking appliances.

How often should I check my smoke alarm or carbon monoxide detector batteries?

At least once a month. You should change the batteries when you change your clock. The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) has an article about changing your smoke alarm batteries.

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