Where do I request a San Jose Fire Department Incident or Fire Report?
For information regarding Fire Reports or other SJFD Public Records, please email SJFDRecords@sanjoseca.gov or call 408-794-6950.
Where can I dispose of prescription medications, paint, solvents, batteries, propane, fertilizers, pesticides, and other types of hazardous household waste?
The Santa Clara County Household Hazardous Waste Disposal Program holds a number of drop-off events each year. For more information contact the County at 408-299-7300 or check out their Quick Reference list.
Whom do I contact if a fire hydrant is leaking or damaged?
Fire hydrant concerns are handled by your local water company. Depending on your location, water service is provided by one of the following three companies:
San Jose Water Company: 408-279-7900
San José Municipal Water: 408-535-3500
Great Oaks Water Company: 408-227-9540
Whom should I contact to test the fire alarm or conduct a fire drill at my business?
Please contact the San José Fire Communications Center 408-277-8950.
Whom do I contact for an inspection or to determine the occupancy of my residence or business?
For all inspection or occupancy requests, please contact the Bureau of Fire Prevention at 408-535-7750.
Why do fire trucks use lights and sirens, even in the middle of the night when there is no traffic?
The purpose of emergency warning equipment is to let drivers and pedestrians know that an emergency vehicle is on the way to an emergency. By state law, we do have certain privileges extended to us. These include the privilege to proceed through controlled intersections without stopping or to travel against the designated flow of traffic. All of these privileges have rules that the state legislation and our department policies put on the drivers of these emergency vehicles. The main rule of safety is to ensure that all traffic is aware of us responding even in the middle of the night.
I saw a San Jose fire truck at a local grocery store or restaurant. Why do firefighters use fire trucks for non-emergency purposes while they are on duty?
To ensure the most effective service at the time of an emergency, our crews must remain in their designated response territory with their fire trucks and ambulances during their entire shift. Our crews work 24-hour shifts with no scheduled breaks. Meals are not provided by the City. Because personnel on each shift must purchase and prepare their own meals, they usually make a daily trip to the grocery store. Fire crews do not have to be sitting in the fire station to be dispatched to a call. Since all personnel maintain constant radio contact with Fire Communications, and the entire crew must always be together with their truck, they are always ready to respond to an emergency, regardless of their current location or non-emergency assignment.
Our firefighters and paramedics spend long periods of their day running calls without returning to the station or stopping to eat. They often have to return to the grocery store several times to finish purchasing food that they might not get a chance to cook during the shift. Occasionally, the fire crews will opt to patronize a local restaurant in San José when their duties exceed any food preparation time. Once again, they remain on-duty in the event of an alarm.
Why does a fire truck come when I only requested an ambulance?
All San José firefighters are cross-trained to provide emergency medical services and firefighting duties. A fire truck will generally respond to all calls involving life-threatening symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, chest pains, severe bleeding, and motor vehicle crashes to begin basic or advanced life support before the arrival of an ambulance. In many medical situations, it takes more than two personnel to tend to a victim. For example, if a person fell and needed to be immobilized, it takes a minimum of three personnel to properly perform this task.
Why do you send so many fire vehicles to a fire, especially a small fire?
There are different specialized roles that firefighters undertake on a fire call and it is necessary to have enough firefighters on the scene of an incident. Adverse weather conditions can play a role as well. Firefighting is a very labor-intensive activity. If there are not enough resources on a call, it is more difficult to extinguish a fire quickly and prevent it from spreading. The basic philosophy is to have enough firefighters on scene, consistent with national standards for fire response.
Can I burn leaves or brush in my yard?
No. The City of San José has an ordinance against residential open burning. The state also has an ordinance against residential open burning in Santa Clara County. This is an air quality issue rather than a fire protection issue; however, the fire department will become involved if a complaint is made. Farmer’s may request an Agricultural Burn Permit by calling 408-535-7750.
Where can I purchase a Smoke Detector or Carbon Monoxide detector?
Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors can be purchased at a wide variety of retail stores. Home improvement centers and hardware stores generally carry a good selection to choose from.
Where should I place my smoke detectors?
Smoke detectors should be installed on every level of your home and in every bedroom. For more information, please visit FEMA's Smoke Alarm Outreach Materials webpage.
What is carbon monoxide and how does it harm you?
Carbon monoxide (also known as CO) is a tasteless, odorless, colorless and poisonous gas. It's a by-product of incomplete combustion. When a person inhales high levels of carbon monoxide for a long time, it displaces the oxygen in the blood and deprives the heart, brain, and other vital organs of oxygen. Extended exposure to strong concentrations of carbon monoxide is life-threatening. Loss of consciousness and suffocation may result without warning. Please make sure your home has a carbon monoxide detector.
Where can I purchase a fire extinguisher?
Portable fire extinguishers can be purchased at a wide variety of retail stores. Home improvement centers and hardware stores generally carry a good selection to choose from.
How do I select a fire extinguisher?
There are four basic types of fires. Portable extinguishers are labeled so that the most appropriate extinguisher is chosen for a specific type of fire. Portable extinguishers are labeled using standard symbols for the fire class. A slash through any symbol means that specific extinguisher should not be used on that certain type of fire. A mission symbol means that specific extinguisher has not been formally tested for a given class of fire. Multi-purpose extinguishers (i.e., ABC) may be used successfully on all three types of fires:
Class A: Ordinary combustibles, such as wood, cloth and paper
Class B: Flammable liquids, such as gasoline, oil and oil-based paint
Class C: Energized electrical equipment, such as wiring, fuse boxes, circuit breakers, machinery and appliances
Class D: Flammable metals
There is also a new class of extinguisher called the K extinguisher. It is used on synthetic cooking oils. It gets its identity as “K” from the word “Kitchen”. Always use the most appropriate extinguisher so that you don’t cause the fire to become worse.
Does the San Jose Fire Department service fire extinguishers?
No. The San José Fire Department does not service fire extinguishers. There are private fire protection companies that offer this service. They can be found in the phone book or online.
Whom should I contact to schedule a tour of a fire station or visit from a local fire station?
Does the San Jose Fire Department offer child car safety seat checks and adjustments?
No. The San José Fire Department does not offer this service. To find the nearest location for a child safety seat inspection, please visit www.nhtsa.dot.gov. Click on "Locate a Child Seat Fitting Station" and then enter your zip code.
Does SJFD offer CPR, AED, or First Aid training?
No. We do not offer training classes for the public. The American Red Cross offers a variety of safety classes including CPR, AED, and First Aid. For more information, please call 408-577-1000 or visit their Take a Class webpage.
Does the San Jose Fire department offer Bicycle Licensing?
The City of San José Bicycle Licensing Program was suspended in November 2010 due to low participation. If you wish to register your bicycle, there is a national bicycle registry that works with local police agencies to identify the owners of lost or stolen bicycles. For more information, please call 1-800-848-2453 or visit www.nationalbikeregistry.com.