Fire Department Frequently Asked Questions

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  • Annual Facilities Program (AFP) - The Annual Facilities Program is an administrative s​ystem intended to simplify the permitting and inspection process for facilities by allowing inspectors to review plans and issue permits. Staff consistency allows inspectors to become familiar with the construction history of each facility.  This program is directed by the Planning & Development Department and a Fire Inspector is assigned to each team.


  • Bars on windows  -   Window bars on bedroom windows that restrict exiting– window bars and security doors on bedrooms must be releasable from the interior of the unit without keys, tools, combinations or special knowledge to operate.
  • Bees - Who do I call if I have a swarm of bees?  The Phoenix Fire Department does not remove bees unless there is imminent danger to a person. If such a situation exists, firefighters destroy the bees and the hives. To have bees removed, look in the Yellow Pages under Beekeepers. 
  • Blight - The City of Phoenix works with residents to resolve issues pertaining to property maintenance, zoning, animal, mobile and street vending through a combination of education, assistance and code enforcement.  For more information contact Neighborhood Services Department at 602-262-7844 or you can report blight violations by visiting on mobile devices or on your computer
  • Blood Pressure Checks - Any fire station between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Remember, the fire fighters may or may not be in the station when you go.


  • Cats - Do you get cats out of trees? - No. Try opening a can of tuna and waiting for the cat to get down on its own.
  • CPR - Where can I attend a CPR class? - Call the Firefighters' Union at (602) 277-1500.
  • Code 3 - Code 3 means emergency response in an emergency vehicle. When an emergency vehicle is driving with its lights flashing and the siren going, that means it's going Code 3 to an emergency somewhere. Someone needs help quickly.

    When an emergency vehicle is heard and/or seen, drivers should carefully pull their vehicle to the right of the road and stop. If they are at an intersection, or stopped in traffic when they see lights or hear a siren, drivers should remain stopped and wait until the emergency vehicles have passed. Do not make quick or erratic maneuvers. The law is very specific; drivers must yield the right-of-way to an emergency vehicle. Drivers also should stay 500 feet behind emergency vehicles.

    A crash involving an emergency vehicle delays help to those who need it. Firefighters are careful to avoid vehicle collisions by driving slowly when traveling against traffic, or coming to a complete stop at intersections. The cooperation of all vehicles on the roadway is required. Be careful when driving by or around a motor vehicle accident or any situation where emergency vehicles are parked and the firefighters are working. Resist the impulse to "rubber-neck". This can cause additional collisions.

    Even though fire apparatus are placed to protect firefighters, tragically, sometimes emergency crews have been hit and killed by passing vehicles.


  • Donations - Does the Fire Department accept donations? - Yes.  Make you​r check payable to: “City of Phoenix - Fire Department”  In the memo line on your check, please indicate the specific name of the program e.g. “Youth Firesetter Intervention Program” you would like your donation to go to, otherwise it will go to the Fire Department general fund.

Mail to:

City of Phoenix

Finance Department

150 S. 12th Street

Phoenix, AZ 85034

Please include your name and address with your donation. If you do not make a designation on your check, the funds will be deposited in the general fund.


  • Emergency Access  - Can we find you? -  When the fire department responds to a given location, it may be delayed in arriving if the address is not clearly seen from the street. Although it's fairly easy to spot a column of smoke from a house fire, it's difficult to see someone's heart attack from the street. In a medical emergency, firefighters may waste critical time having to knock on several doors to try and find a correct address. Make sure your address is clearly visible from the street. The numbers should be three or four inches in height and be reflective.

    This problem is compounded in large condominium and apartment complexes. Arriving at a correct address, the engine company finds a huge residential facility with many buildings in the complex. Make sure large identification lettering or numbering is mounted on the side of the building. This is as important as the street address. It would be even better if someone could be standing near the street to direct the fire units to the appropriate apartment.


  • False or Nuisance Fire Alarms - The false alarm program is managed by the Police Department. False fire alarms cost lives, time and money. The goal of this program is to decrease the number of false alarms that firefighters must respond to.   This saves wear and tear on equipment and increases firefighter availability for emergencies. Reducing false fire alarms also allows our 9-1-1 centers to process calls in a faster manner.  How to sign up for a False Alarm Class?  Downloadable brochure.
  •  Fees - Current Fire Prevention Fees
  • Fire Apparatus - Why do so many fire apparatus respond to simple incidents?
    • Fire Department units are dispatched according to information received by the 9-1-1 operator. The Phoenix Fire Department are prepared to deal with the worst that could happen at any given incident. They are fast, well-trained and pleasant in their response.         
    • A computer selects the closest unit to respond to an incident. The fire department's philosophy is to get our firefighters there as soon as possible. This will be either an engine company or a ladder truck company. In preparation for the worst case scenario, an ambulance often is dispatched as well. The first unit on the scene may not be an advanced life support unit (a unit with paramedics). Therefore, such a unit also will be responding.           ​​
    • There may be three fire department vehicles on the scene for what appears to be a "simple" incident. However, in emergency services we have learned that if we assume something is "simple," we can be horribly mistaken. Plus, we respond as fast as we can prepared to encounter the worst. The winner in these situations will always be the citizen who needs help. 
  • Fire Code - What fire code does the City of Phoenix use? - The Fire Code of the City of Phoenix is based on the International Fire Code.  The code is amended with Phoenix specific amendments and adopted approximately every 3 years.  Current Fire Code»
  •  Fire Code Violations - How do I report a possible fire code violation or unsafe situation? - You may contact our officesto report the unsafe situation or code violation. An inspector will be sent out to verify the code violation and issue corrective notices if applicable.
  •  Fire Extinguisher - Who do I call about a fire extinguisher that doesn't work?  - Check the Yellow Pages under Fire Extinguishers. The Phoenix Fire Department does not use or service extinguishers.  To register as an extinguisher technician or start a new extinguisher business see the registration procedures on the Contractor's Corner page.
  •  Fire Fighters -  Why do I see firefighters cutting holes in the roof of a building on fire? - This is called "venting the roof." There are two basic reasons for this practice. Dangerous gases and dark smoke accumulate in a burning building. Unlike the movie versions of fires, it is impossible for firefighters to see in such an environment. When a hole is made in the roof because the building is "vented," the smoke and gases escape because heat and smoke rise. It makes it much easier for the firefighters in the building to see. It also reduces the possibilities of backdraft and flashover. Another reason for venting the roof is to see how far the fire has progressed. One of the fastest avenues through which fires spread is the attic. Heat and smoke rise into the attic where the fire can move quickly. Firefighters may go ahead of the fire on a roof, cut holes to access the attic and stop the fire from spreading through the attic.
  •  Fire Permit - How do I get a fire permit? - Call Fire Prevention at (602) 262-6771 or see permit applications he​re.
  •  Fire Truck - How can I schedule a fire truck or a firefighter at my function?  - Call Community Involvement at least three weeks in advance at (602) 262-6910.
  • Fireworks 


  • Gas Leak  - Where do I report a leak?
  • Southwest Gas 602-942-0888
  • Green Pools - Who do I report greens pools to?
  • Contact ​Maricopa County​ at 602-506-6616.


  • Hall of Flame Museum - The National Historical Fire Foundation is a ​museum dedicated to the historical preservation of fire fighting equipment used through the years around the world. The museum has five exhibit bays and the National Firefighting Hall of Heroes gallery.
  • Household Hazardous Waste
  • The City of Phoenix conducts collection events.  Click here for more information and s​cheduled events.
  • Hoarding 
  • Hoarding is causing home fires to become more dangerous than they should be.  Residents become trapped and entering becomes more dangerous to fire fighters who are looking for occupants.  For more information see the Arizona Hoarding Task Force website.
  • Hydrant Leak - Where do I report a leaking or broken hydrant, or missing caps, malfunctioning, painting or other maintenance ?
  • Water Department 602-262-5077, after hours call 602-261-8000 
  • Make sure fire hydrants have a three foot area clear of debris and obstructions. Firefighters may need to get to the hydrant for water supply. An obstruction of fencing, tree branches, bushes, weeds or brush may cause a delay as firefighters try to get water to extinguish a fire. Someone may be injured or killed because water is not available as soon as possible.
  • Don't block a fire hydrant by parking a vehicle next to it. Vehicles cannot be parked any closer than 15 feet to a fire hydrant from any direction. Remember, your actions may cause a delay in being able to supply water to an emergency that continues to grow until intervention takes place.


  •  Investigation Report - How do I get a copy of a fire investigation report?   Click here for a report request form
  • How come I see fire trucks with full lights and sirens go through a red light at intersections and then, after they go through, they turn off their lights and slow down? Sometimes several units are dispatched to the same incident. T​he first unit may have arrived on the scene, surveyed the situation and informed the dispatcher that the situation was under control. All other responding units were cancelled and put back into service, ready to take another call.   Most likely, when you see an emergency vehicle go "Code 3" (lights and siren) through an intersection and then slow down and turn the emergency lights off, they have been cancelled from the call they were going on.
  •  ISO Rating..what is my ISO rating?  UPDATED May 2018 - The ISO rating for the city of Phoenix is a 1.  The Insurance Services Office (ISO), an independent company that provides statistical information on risk, has rated the City of Phoenix’s structural fire suppression capabilities with the best grade possible.  This “Best Fire Suppression” rating may assist qualifying homeowners and companies in the Phoenix area in receiving advantageous insurance rates from their insurance providers.  County islands within the city limits may have a different rating.    

    In each community, ISO analyzes the relevant data and assigns a grade – a number from 1 to 10.  Class 1 represents an exemplary fire suppression program, and Class 10 indicates that the area’s fire suppression program does not meet ISO’s minimum criteria.  Phoenix received a class 1 classification.  There have been 305 communities in the United States and just six in the state of Arizona who have secured a Class 1 rating since the inception of the ISO rating program.

    The rating was secured after a comprehensive assessment was made of the Phoenix Fire Department’s apparatus inventory, community risk reduction program, department staffing, fire investigations, fire safety education, firefighter training, hydrant flow tests, alarm room capabilities and first-alarm fire response. 


  • ​Knox Boxes or key boxes- Knox Box Company
  • The Phoenix Fire Code requires a key box on every occupancy (except private residences R-3) where off site monitoring notifies the fire department.  Private residences may install a key box and provide the key to their local fire station for citizens who may not be able to get to the door in case of emergency. For more information contact Fire Prevention.

  • The KNOX-BOX® Rapid Entry System was specifically developed for the fire department. With one master key, they can gain access to commercial and residential property. More than 11,500 departments nationwide use Knox key boxes, vaults, Haz-Mat cabinets, key switches, locking FDC caps, and padlocks.  Please call Fire Prevention at 602-262-6771 with any questions. 


  • No Burn Days Maricopa County Air Quality Department determines if burning is allowed every day.  Contact 602-506-6400 for a daily recorded message.  For more information go to or Residential Wood Burning.


O, P, Q & R


  •  Planning and Development Service Department 602-262-7811


  • Who do I call to get sand bags?   The Phoenix Fire Department does not supply sand, sand bags or shovels. If sand is available through the City, please visit​/update for more information.
  • Swimming Pool Regulations - Who do I call to find out about swimming pool regulations? Call the Water Safety Hotline at 602-262-6910.  For pool permits and fencing regulations contact Planning & Development Department @ 602-262-7884



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