San Diego Fire FAQs

Posted in blog on March 11, 2017

Fire safety could save your life. If you’re in the city of San Diego, take some time to get to know the local procedures for fire response and support services. We have 52 fire stations, including the airport station. Can you locate the one nearest you? To promote fire safety awareness, we’ve compiled some of the most commonly asked questions about fires in San Diego.

When is the fire season in San Diego?

  • In San Diego, we don’t experience a fire season. Instead, we face the threat of serious fires year round. Since the state is an incredibly dry area, the risk for serious and uncontrollable fires is high.

Who is responsible for managing residential smoke detectors and fire extinguishers?

  • Every property owner must keep and maintain his or her own smoke detectors and fire extinguishers. If you rent a property, the landlord bears responsibility for maintaining these fire safety tools. As a general rule, replace smoke detectors every ten years and test them every month. Check the gauge on fire extinguishers monthly, and replace when the gauge moves out of the green area.

Why do fire engines respond to medical emergencies?

  • The city sends out first responder fire engines to calls to ensure someone arrives on the scene quickly. In many cases, a fire engine can travel to the site of a medical emergency faster than an ambulance. Every second counts in life-threatening situations, and 911 operators send out first responders to roughly 65% of all calls, depending on the current work load.

Where do residential fires most commonly start?

  • Home fires most commonly originate in the kitchen. Avoid placing flammable items near the stove and keep pot and pan handles pushed back away from the ledge. Fireplaces and heating units also commonly contribute to residential fires.

How can locals get rid of fireworks and old ammunition?

  • The fire station will always accept ammunition up to .50 caliber bullets, as long as the rounds are unaltered. Local stations also accept unused fireworks. If you are concerned about transporting these items, call (619) 236-6815 to talk to a local explosives expert about disposal practices.

How does the Safely Surrendered Baby Law work?

  • Many fire stations in the state of California accept babies without question in an effort to curb infant abandonment. Look for a blue sign outside the fire station, hospital, or another location to see if the location is a safe surrender participant. All approved sites must display the blue and white baby sign.

I noticed a fire code violation. Can I report it?

  • If you notice a code violation, contact the Fire Hazard Advisor at (619) 533-4411 to file a complaint.

Can I bring my child to visit the fire station as an educational experience?

  • San Diego’s fire stations conduct prearranged tours and visits on a daily basis. All visitors must submit a Station Tour Request Form to schedule the visit. During a tour, visitors can speak with firefighters and emergency medical professionals to learn more about the city’s role in fire prevention and medical support.

What should I do if my child is a fire-setter/pyromaniac?

  • The fire department does not currently sponsor an intervention program. Instead, consider the San Diego Burn Institute’s Juvenile Firesetter Intervention Program, an educational program focused on fire safety. Concerned parents may also want to discuss their child’s behavior with a pediatrician or a psychologist to find an appropriate course of action.

Over the years, San Diego has battled several large fires including, the American-Hawaiian Company Freighter Fire of 1910 and the Witch Creek/Guejito Fires of 2007. Every day, fire stations in San Diego deliver immediate and helpful support at accident sites and in deadly fire situations. For more information about the city’s fire services, support, and permits, visit the city’s website.

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