Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get a free smoke alarm installed in my home?

If you cannot afford a smoke alarm, call 3-1-1 or contact Philly311 via Twitter, email or the website.

Requests will be forwarded to the Fire Department who will contact the customer to arrange delivery and installation of a smoke alarm with a 10-year lithium battery. Residents cannot pick them up directly from a fire station nor install the devices themselves. Please allow up to 60 days for installation.

You must be a resident of Philadelphia and live in a one- or two-family OWNER-occupied dwelling. If you live in an apartment building, or are renting a home, it is the legal responsibility of the landlord to provide smoke alarm protection on every level of the residence. Residents may request one per floor including the basement and/or attic area but the Fire Department will determine how many smoke detectors/alarms are needed once on site.

How do I find my local fire station?

Enter your address into the search box on this map.

How do I report a possible fire code violation in a residential or commercial building?

Call 3-1-1 or contact Philly311 via email

A rental property or residential building without smoke detectors, carbon monoxide (CO) detectors, fire extinguishers, and/or fire suppression systems, is in violation of the Property Maintenance and Fire Codes and should be reported for inspection. Tenants should also report maintenance issues such as sparking or smoking outlets and/or electrical wiring that could cause a fire.


In commercial buildings, possible fire code violations could include no fire protection system, smoke detectors or sprinklers, blocked stairways or exits.

Once entered into the system the property should be inspected by the Department of Licenses & Inspections within 20 business days. A property owner has up to 30 days to comply with violations. Thereafter, up to three re-inspections may be conducted to ensure violations were complied or resolved. If not complied at last inspection, property may be referred to court for judgment. This determination is made by the inspector and the department.

How do I report an open fire hydrant?

This is considered an emergency and requires a Water Department response within 24 hours. Contact Water Department at 215-685-6300 and press 1 for emergencies. Please be prepared to give the location of the hydrant.

Do I need a carbon monoxide detector in my home?

The city requires owners of all one- and two-family dwellings and small residential care/assisted living facilities to install carbon monoxide (CO) detection and alarm devices in their buildings.

How do I make my home or business safer?

Use this home fire safety checklist and make a home fire safety plan. You can also read through this general fire safety information, which includes the fire safety checklist translated into several languages. For businesses, we also offer safety tips in several languages.


Additionally, the Office of Emergency Management offers information on how to prepare for emergencies, how to find evacuation routes, how to shelter-in-place and how to sign up for emergency text alerts.

How can I get a Fire Department representative to speak at my school, event or community meeting? Or, how can I obtain fire prevention literature to distribute at my school, event or community meeting?

The answer to both of those questions is to email your request to executive.firechief@phila.gov. Please include details about the event as well as the date, time, place and contact information for the organizer.

Who do I contact about billing questions for Fire Department ambulance service?

Please call Intermedix at 888-987-1135.

How do I get a copy of a fire and/or EMS report?

Call the Department of Records at 215-686-2266 or visit the department in Room 167 of City Hall.

Where can I get a copy of the Philadelphia Fire Code?

A downloadable version of the code is available for purchase.

Who do I call about an animal stuck in tree, house, car, etc.?

Call Animal Care & Control Teamat 267-385-3800 or the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals at 215-426-6300. The only situation in which someone should call us for wildlife stuck in a tree is if the animal is hurt or injured.


If either organization cannot get the animal out of the tree, they will call the Fire Department for assistance. Please note that ACCT can assist if a cat or other domestic pet is stuck in a tree, but not for wildlife (raccoons, etc.)

Where can I set up a barbecue grill?

It is illegal to set up a barbecue grill on a city sidewalk. Charcoal burners, propane grills and other open-flame cooking devices (barbecue grills, hibachis or similar devices with or without covers) shall not be operated on combustible balconies, decks or roofs, or within 10 feet of combustible construction. Outdoor fireplaces have regulations as well.

Where do I obtain or refill a fire extinguisher?

Fire extinguishers are available for purchase at many hardware stores. The Fire Department does not regularly provide or refill fire extinguishers. If you are a tenant, it is the landlord’s responsibility to provide a working fire extinguisher for the property.

How do I dispose of flammable materials like old paint or gasoline?

The Streets Department regularly hosts Household Hazardous Waste Events around the city. Check the list of accepted items before you go.

How do I dispose of unwanted/unused/expired prescription drugs?

Some police stations around the city offer dropboxes. Check www.americanmedicinechest.com for the location nearest you.

How do I become a firefighter?

Read the description of the firefighter’s job and fill out an interest form. We will contact you when the next recruiting drive starts. You can also email our recruitment office or call 215-685-3748/3749.

How do I become a paramedic?

Read the description of the firefighter’s job and fill out an interest form. We will contact you when the next recruiting drive starts. You can also email our recruitment office or call 215-685-3748/3749.

How do I become a Fire Explorer?

The Philadelphia Fire Explorers Cadet Post is a program for young adults ages 14-21 who are interested in a career in the fire service.