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William G. Kelly
Fire Chief

Email: Fire
Telephone: 408-615-4900
Fax: 408-246-8652

OFFICE HOURS
Monday - Friday
8:00A - 12:00P, 1:00P - 5:00P

ADDRESS
Fire Station No. 1 / Administration
777 Benton Street
Santa Clara, CA 95050

FAQ's

Expand/Contract Questions and Answers

Can citizens drop off old or expired fire extinguishers to fire stations?
A:
Although the Fire Department does not accept old or expired fire extinguishers, a Household Hazardous Waste Disposal event will.
What are the carbon monoxide detector installation requirements?
A:
As of July 1, 2011 the Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act (Senate Bill - SB 183) requires owners of all single-family homes with an attached garage or a fossil fuel source to install carbon monoxide detectors within the home by July 1, 2011. Owners of multi-family leased or rental dwellings, such as apartment buildings, have until January 1, 2013 to comply with the law. Please refer to the carbon monoxide page on the Cal Fire website for more information.
How does a Volunteer/Reserve earn preference points?
A:
Volunteer/Reserves are awarded preference points on SCFD paid Firefighter examinations according to the following guidelines:
• One point for first year of service.
• One point for certification.
• One point for each additional year of service for up to three years (if certification is maintained).

An individual may have up to five additional points added to their test score.
How do I obtain an incident report?
A:
Requests for incident reports should be submitted to Fire Administration located at Fire Station 1. You will be asked to complete a Fire Department Form and to provide proper identification.
How do I set up a tour of my local fire station?
A:
Station tours and visits are scheduled through the Fire Training Division.  The Training Division can be reached at: (408) 615-4940 or an email can be sent to the general email account at: fire@santaclaraca.gov
Does the Santa Clara Fire Department do bicycle licensing?
A:
No longer does the Fire Department handle bicycle licensing.  However, citizens wishing to register their bicycles can go to the National Bike Registry website at www.nationalbikeregistry.com
Does the Santa Clara Fire Department accept used batteries for proper disposal?
A:
Each of our ten Fire Stations has a white bucket in front for people to drop off used batteries. They will be properly recycled.
Does the Santa Clara Fire Department install infant/child car seats?
A:
Unfortunately, we are not qualified to provide this service. The California Highway Patrol or your local AAA will be able to provide you with information and assistance with infant/child car seat installation. The website seatcheck.org may also be useful to help find a safety seat inspection location.
How do I apply for the Volunteer/Reserves?
A:
•Obtain an application from the City of Santa Clara website. 
You can also obtain an application from the Fire Administration office at 777 Benton Street.

• Return the completed application to the Fire Administration office at 777 Benton Street.
You will be notified by mail when the next test will occur.
What qualifications are required to apply for the position of Volunteer/Reserve?
A:
All applicants must meet the following requirements:
• 18 to 55 years of age.
• Resident of the City of Santa Clara.
• A valid driver’s license and current DMV printout.
• Proof of vehicle insurance.
• Current medical exam (within 3 months).
How often does SCFD test for new Volunteer/Reserves?
A:
Currently, testing for new Volunteer/Reserves occurs approximately twice a year. Frequency of testing is directly related to the number of positions available. There are currently 75 positions within the Volunteer/Reserve Division:
• 1 Volunteer/Reserve Assistant Fire Chief.
• 1 Volunteer/Reserve Battalion Chief.
• 1 Volunteer/Reserve Training Chief.
• 6 Volunteer/Reserve Captains.
• 6 Volunteer/Reserve Lieutenants.
• 60 Volunteer/Reserve Firefighters.
How are Volunteer/Reserves chosen?
A:
The Volunteer/Reserves conduct a test similar to that given for paid Firefighter applicants. The testing process includes the following:
• Physical ability test
• Oral interview
• Background exam
What are the Volunteer/Reserves allowed to do?
A:
Once you are sworn in as a Volunteer/Reserve, you are allowed to:
• Respond to emergency calls.
• Stay overnight at fire stations (with certification).
• Ride on fire apparatus as a fourth firefighter, providing support to the crew (with certification).
What are the responsibilities of a Volunteer/Reserve Firefighter?
A:
As a Volunteer/Reserve, you are responsible for the following:
• Attend monthly training drills and company meetings as well as being available for extra-curricular activities.
• Earning the minimum number of required points:
* Calls = 24 points/year
* Drills = 24 points/year
* Activities = 72 points/year
* Meetings = 12 points/year
Does the Fire Department provide uniforms for the Volunteer/Reserves?
A:
Volunteer/Reserves are issued the following equipment:
• Safety clothing (turnouts, helmet, gloves)
• Pager (with charger)
• Badge
• Identification card
• Nametag
How does a Volunteer/Reserve become certified?
A:
To become a certified Volunteer/Reserve, you must do the following:
• Complete one successful year as a Volunteer/Reserve.
• Attain CPR and First Aid certification.
• Pass a certification exam, which tests basic firefighting skills.
My smoke detectors are over 8 years old, do they need to be replaced?
A:
Yes. The National Fire Protection Association’s National Fire Alarm Code requires home smoke detectors to be replaced when they fail to respond or when they exceed 10 years from the date of manufacture. Most smoke detectors have the date of manufacture printed on the back of the detector. Working smoke detectors are the most important element in the protection of your family from fire that smoke detectors more than eight years old should be replaced to ensure that you and your family are protected. As a reminder smoke detectors should be tested once a month and their batteries should be replaced at least once a year.
What are the Fire Code regulations for barbecuing?
A:

The adopted Fire Code contains regulations for the use and storage of barbecues on specified balconies, patios and decks of residential structures having more than two dwelling units. These include apartments, condominiums and townhouses (except for townhouses located on individual parcels).

The following are the applicable sections from the Fire Code:

308.1.4. Open-Flame Cooking Devices. Charcoal burners and other open-flame cooking devices shall not be operated on combustible balconies or within 10' (3,048 mm) of combustible construction.

Exceptions:

  1. One- and two-family dwellings.
  2. Where buildings, balconies and decks are protected by an automatic sprinkler system.
  3. LP-gas cooking devices having LP-gas container with a water capacity not greater than 2-1/2 pounds [nominal 1 pound (0.454 kg) LP-gas capacity].

Summary of the above code:
Charcoal Barbecues—It is acceptable to store the barbecue unit on a combustible balcony (i.e., wood) but it is not acceptable to operate it on a combustible balcony or within 10' of combustible construction (which includes the surrounding walls and overhangs above). It is acceptable to operate the barbecue on a balcony if the balcony, deck, overhangs and adjacent walls are of noncombustible construction or if the buildings, balconies, decks and overhangs are protected by an automatic fire sprinkler system.

Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG/Propane) Barbecues—It is not acceptable to store or operate an LPG barbecue with a propane fuel container size greater than one pound on a combustible balcony or within 10' of combustible construction (which includes the surrounding walls and overhangs above). It is acceptable to operate the barbecue on a balcony if the balcony, deck, overhangs and adjacent walls are of noncombustible construction or if the buildings, balconies, decks and overhangs are protected by an automatic fire sprinkler system.

Please see this Fire Safety Regulations for Barbecues document for further information.

Does the Fire Department recharge fire extinguishers?
A:
The Santa Clara Fire Department does not recharge extinguishers.  A company that does can be found in your local advertisements phonebook, search engine, etc.
I would like to buy a fire extinguisher for my home. What kind of fire extinguisher should I buy?
A:
Fire extinguishers when used properly are effective in controlling and extinguishing small fires that have not spread beyond their point of origin. It is recommended that you purchase a fire extinguisher that is rated for use on A, B and C type fires. This will ensure that the extinguisher that you purchase will effectively extinguish fires that can occur in your home even on charged electrical appliances. A fire extinguisher rated as 2A:10B:C is an extinguisher size that most people can operate and it will allow the operator to discharge the extinguisher from a safe distance allowing them to move closer as the fire is knocked down.
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