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FAQs

Below are common questions about your Fire Department and the broad range of services that are supplied. Please take a moment and look. If you can't find your question answered here just call our main department number and we will find the answer you need.

General Questions

How can I arrange to have my children or school group visit a fire station?

Tours of the fire stations are available to the public. You must make reservations at least thirty days in advance. Please email the  Fire Station Request form (PDF 363K) to twallace@kirklandwa.gov  or call  (425) 587-3634 for further information and reservations.

Do you have a meeting room available to the public?  How do I make reservations? What are the rules?

Station 22 and Station 26 (after 6:00 pm) have meeting rooms available at no charge for groups up to 30 people. Parking is limited. Fire station room application and rules (PDF 56K) email to twallace@kirklandwa.gov, or call 425-587-3650.

Does the Fire Department offer CPR training to the public?

The City of Kirkland offers First Aid training to individuals through the Kirkland Parks and Community Services Department (not the Fire Department).

To learn when CPR classes are scheduled, Contact Kirkland Parks or call 425-587-3300.

I live in the Kirkland city limits, can I burn my leaves and brush?

Outdoor burning is banned in Kirkland. For air quality questions, call the Puget Sound Air Pollution Control Agency at 206-343-8800. Also for air quality/indoor burning restrictions recording, 1-800-595-4341.

I'd like to learn more about how to be prepared for disasters, are materials available from the Fire Department?

Our Office of Emergency Management has a number of brochures and flyers available to the public, neighborhoods, businesses, day cares, retirement facilities, and schools. The Kirkland area can experience a number of disasters or emergencies, and we have flyers that will assist in preparing for those various emergencies. Call (425) 587-3610.

My neighborhood, business and/or civic group would be interested in a presentation about emergency preparedness, is someone available to help us out?

Staff is available to come to your community center, home and/or facility to present information about emergency preparedness. The focus will be on earthquakes, since the Pacific Northwest is due for a major 8.0 or greater magnitude earthquake. Please call (425) 587-3610 for assistance.

 


 Questions about Fire and Aid Response


Why do I see fire department vehicles using lights and sirens and then all of the sudden turn them off?

Usually they are "down graded" or cancelled by other fire units on the scene of an incident after those units determined that they weren't needed.

Why do I see many fire department vehicles responding to one call?

Even though it may seem many incidents can be handled with just one vehicle, most of the calls require manpower from multiple units.

Why do I see a fire engine followed by an aid car around town?

We cross-staff our fire engines and aid cars with the same personnel. We keep these vehicles together to handle either an aid or engine call.

What does cross-staffed mean?

At each fire station there is an aid car and an engine/truck. If the call is medical in nature we take the aid car and place the engine/truck out of service. If it is a fire related call we take the engine/truck and place the aid car out of service. Station 21 and Station 24 usually only have an aid car in service.

Why do I see two ambulances at calls?

As part of King County Medic One, the Kirkland Fire Department strives to respond in the most efficient manner. The KFD staffs Basic Life Support aid cars, which is equipped to perform basic medical procedures and heart defibrillation. This is the first "ambulance" that you see.

Most medical calls only require a basic response. For calls that require more advanced medical procedures a medic unit from either Evergreen Medic One, Bellevue Fire, or Shoreline Fire Medic One. These units can have the ability to perform advanced medical procedures including IV Therapy, drug administration, and advanced airway management.

Why at a fire or major accident, do I see fire vehicles from other cities?

Kirkland is part of an agreement with surrounding cities to provide automatic aid to neighboring department or receive the same aid. Most fires requires 3 engines, a truck company, and a command officer. Some fire stations in neighboring areas are closer to calls than other Kirkland fire stations, providing faster response to calls. The KFD also responds into other jurisdictions.

Are you firefighters or EMTs?

We are cross-trained in both areas.

Why do fire department vehicles arrive on scene at separate times?

Each vehicle that arrives responds from a different station located in different areas.

When a department vehicle approaches a scene, I notice it seems to start and stop all the time, why?

Usually we are looking for the address of the place we are responding to. Unfortunately many addresses aren't labeled properly or at all making it hard to find the place that we are responding to. That is why it is important to have the addresses highly visible.

 Fire Prevention Questions

Are fireworks legal for sale and use in Kirkland?
The sale, possession and discharge of personal fireworks are prohibited within Kirkland city limits. This ban went into effect in 1999. 

Public fireworks displays are allowed as long as a permit is obtained in advance from the Fire Department and the display is conducted by a licensed pyrotechnician. 

Is a barbecue grill allowed on the deck of my apartment or condominium?
The City of Kirkland does not restrict the storage and use of barbecue grills on decks, although your homeowners’ association or apartment rules may.

Can I burn outdoors?
In urban areas of King County, all outdoor burning (burning of yard waste, garbage, etc) is prohibited by the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency (PSCAA).  The burning of yard debris, construction materials or trash is not allowed at any time. The Kirkland Fire Department works closely with PSCAA to help enforce regulations specifically concerning outdoor burning.

If I cannot burn my yard waste, what do I do with it? The King County Solid Waste website gives information on disposal of yard waste as well as other types of waste.

Are there any exceptions to the restriction on outdoor burning?

One exception to the open burning prohibition is for recreational fires.  Such fires are allowed without a permit as long as the following precautions are taken:

  • The fire must be kept small (no larger than three feet in diameter and two feet in height).
  • Recreational fires shall not be conducted within 25 feet of a structure or combustible material, such as a wooden fence, trees, brush, or tall grass.
  • Recreational fires must be continually attended by a responsible person until the fire is completely extinguished.
  • Some means of extinguishing the fire must be readily available.  This can be a portable fire extinguisher with a rating of 4-A.  Other means of approved materials for extinguishing the fire are dirt, sand, a water barrel, or water hose.
  • Try to use the driest wood available in order to produce the least amount of smoke possible.  If the smoke from your fire is an irritant to neighbors you may have to extinguish the fire. 
  • Finally, always check with PSCAA to make sure there is not a burn ban in effect due to air quality before having any kind of outdoor fire.

 

How do I find out if there is a burn ban in effect?

Puget Sound Clean Air Agency regulates burn bans.  You can check on the current PSCAA’ website or call the PSCAA burn ban InfoLine at 1-800-595-4341.

How do I dispose of old fire extinguishers?
Residents in King County can dispose of empty fire extinguishers with their regular garbage. Non-empty fire extinguishers should be taken to a household hazardous waste location for disposal. Locations include Factoria and the roving Wastemobile. For more information visit hazwastehelp.org

How do I dispose of hazardous waste/liquids?

Paints, solvents, computers, televisions, fuels and some other materials are considered hazardous waste, and should never be thrown away with normal refuse. For more information on what constitutes hazardous waste and appropriate disposal of such items, see the King County Public Health website.

How do I dispose of LP or Propane Gas tanks?
Empty liquid petroleum gas canisters less than two pounds (such as the small Coleman camping canisters) may be placed in the garbage. Larger canisters, either empty or containing gas, need to be taken to one of the household hazardous waste facilities.

Propane barbecue tanks should be exchanged at a propane supplier or disposed at household hazardous waste collection facilities. For more information please see the King County Public Health website.

Does Kirkland Fire Department charge for responding to false fire alarms? 

Kirkland Fire does not currently have a false fire alarm fee.  However, if your alarm system sends repeated alarms, you may be required to take the system off line and then to post a 24-hour fire watch until the system is repaired satisfactorily.  Posting a fire watch can be very expensive. 

How many smoke detectors should I have in my home and where should they be placed?
You should have at least one smoke detector on every floor (including the basement) and one in every bedroom.

Why is my smoke detector making a chirping noise?

Smoke detectors are designed to emit a “chirp” every few minutes if the battery is low. This is a warning that the battery should be replaced immediately.


What is a carbon monoxide (CO) detector and where should it be placed?

A CO detector is designed to alert you of carbon monoxide which is an odorless, colorless, tasteless and invisible gas produced by burning fuels (gasoline, wood, coal, propane, oil, and/or natural gas for example).  They are only necessary when you have “fuel fired” equipment in your home or an attached garage. 

CO alarms must be installed in accordance with the manufacturers’ instructions, and must be located outside of each sleeping area, in the immediate vicinity of the bedroom. Multiple alarms may be needed depending on the size and configuration of the dwelling unit. Again, be sure to carefully follow the manufacturers’ installation instructions.

What is the best kind of fire extinguisher for my house? 10
Fire extinguishers are designed for certain types of materials and situations. "BC" fire extinguishers are recommended for a kitchen. These extinguishers are designed to more effective on grease, oils, and electrical fires. An "ABC" fire extinguisher is good for common items such as cloth, paper, and other ordinary combustibles.

What is Kirkland’s ISO rating? 
ISO stands for Insurance Service Organization.  Kirkland Fire Department currently has an ISO rating of 4.  The Fire Prevention Bureau has an ISO rating of 8. The Kirkland Building Department has an ISO rating of 3. The rating scale effects insurance rates. The rating scale range is 1 for optimal coverage and 10 for unprotected.

Are fire sprinklers required in all new homes?

No, The Department highly recommends sprinkling new homes as the single most effective way to protect your family from the effects of fire. Currently Kirkland only requires sprinklers to be installed in new homes that are over 5,000 gross square feet in size (including garage), or in those cases where there are access limitations or fire flow (water supply) issues. 


 

Fire Services
123 5th Avenue, Kirkland WA 98033

General Inquiries
T. 425.587.3650 | F. 425.587.3671