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Frequently Asked Questions

Extinguish all your burning questions. From who to call in an emergency to smoke alarms, we’re here to support you and keep you informed.

Fire, police, and ambulance staff are aware of the noise disturbance to local residents and do their best to mitigate this while ensuring they are best prepared to respond to an emergency.

Although they may provoke a sense of anxiety, or occur at an early hour in the morning, or late at night, the sirens are a necessary part of our emergency response. They are an indication that a member of the community truly requires emergency assistance and our first responders are doing their absolute best to provide assistance in a prompt and safe manner.

Our first responders try to not activate sirens when they are not required, however, “Code 3” responses (lights and sirens) are required immediately for priority calls. Section 122 of the BC Motor Vehicle Act provides exemptions for emergency vehicles, such as proceeding past a red traffic control signal or stop sign without stopping. When doing this, they are required to do so as safely as possible, which will often involve the use of our vehicle’s emergency equipment (lights and sirens).



While there is often less traffic at night, this also means that other drivers are not expecting other traffic to be on the roadway. When roads are dark and other drivers are not expecting emergency vehicles, the lights and sirens are necessary to ensure awareness and public

In emergencies, seconds count – often helping to save a life. The time saved responding in emergency mode saves precious seconds responding to someone’s call for help. If you had to call for help in an emergency, you would want help to arrive as quickly as possible.

The fire department responds to a wide range of emergencies, including medical calls, motor vehicle accidents, structure, vehicle, or forest fires, and water rescues. We are prepared to respond and proud to serve our community.  Responding as quickly and safely as possible enables us to keep our community safe

In order to remain in compliance with safety guidelines, each fire hall must test its fire truck systems, including the sirens, on a daily basis. Per the guidelines, these daily checks must take place before 9 a.m. every day, which is why you will often hear a siren sometime before 9 a.m. even though a truck may not be departing on a call at that time

In accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, any person (or organization) may request access to records under the custody and/or control of the City of Richmond. This includes Richmond Fire-Rescue records. The general right of access to records is restricted by certain specified and limited exceptions. For example, an applicant will not gain access to someone else’s personal information without their permission.

For more information on the FOI process, see the City of Richmond’s website.

All FOI requests must be made in writing and provide sufficient detail to assist staff in locating the records sought. If you are requesting a RFR incident report, please include as much detail as possible, including the date, location, and incident number (if known).

If you are requesting another individual’s personal information, attach either that person’s signed consent for disclosure or proof of authority to act on that person’s behalf.

You can fill out a standard form HERE or submit in your own format. There are three ways to submit your request:

  1. By Email
  2. By FAX 604-204-8642
  3.  By Post or Hand Delivered:

City Clerk’s Office
2nd Floor, City Hall
6911 No. 3 Road
Richmond, BC  V6Y 2C1

We are often asked about the disposal of fireworks or marine flares. 

Richmond Fire-Rescue does not accept these items from the public.

The Recycling Council of British Columbia suggests that for large/commercial loads of fireworks, you should contact Clean Harbors at 604-940-0894 for disposal; a fee will be charged. 

For minimal quantities of spent/fired/unused fireworks, you can soak them in a bucket of water for at least one day to ensure they’re wet throughout and then place them into a plastic bag to help maintain moisture. Once complete, you can throw them away in the trash. 

If you have any further inquiries about fireworks disposal, please get in touch with us at 604-732-9253 (Lower Mainland) or 1-800-667-4321 (BC-wide). For more information, please visit the website at

If you have unwanted or expired Marine Flares, please contact DBC Marine Safety Systems Ltd. at 1689 Cliveden Ave., Delta, to dispose of them properly. 

Contact: Trisha Dickins 604-214-4293

$3 hand flare, $5 rocket or smoke flare

NO road Flares – NO fireworks 

Please make sure you are safe first, and then call 9-1-1 immediately.

Richmond Fire-Rescue’s firefighters are an effective team who proactively protect and enhance the City’s livability by serving our community, preventing harm and responding to emergencies. To ensure the highest level of care to our community, we often plan for the worst-case scenario as these emergencies are never ‘routine’.

No, Richmond Fire-Rescue does not transport injured animals. If you discover an injured animal please contact the BC SPCA at (604) 709-4668. They will come pick up the injured or distressed animal between the hours of 7:00 am until 9:00 pm. If you discover an injured or distressed animal between the hours of 9:00 pm through 7:00 Am – please call the RCMP Non-Emergency number at (604) 278-1212.

No, because our resources are reserved for emergencies. In our experience, cats eventually come down from trees on their own. On occasion, we do attend calls for animal rescues.

No. Although it would be a blast to have a fire truck attend your child’s birthday, we require our fire trucks to always be in service if an emergency were to happen in the Richmond community.

To request our participation for your event, please visit our Public Education page and fill out the form and we will get back to you as soon as possible.*

A minimum of 2 weeks advance notice is required for us to be able to plan and fulfill your request.

*In the event of an emergency, Richmond Fire-Rescue Personnel may be dispatched to an incident at any time.

To request our participation for your event, please visit our Public Education page and fill out the form and we will get back to you as soon as possible.*

A minimum of 2 weeks advance notice is required for us to be able to plan and fulfill your request.

*In the event of an emergency, Richmond Fire-Rescue Personnel may be dispatched to an incident at any time.

To request our participation for your event, please visit our Public Education page and fill out the form and we will get back to you as soon as possible.*

A minimum of 2 weeks advance notice is required for us to be able to plan and fulfill your request.

*In the event of an emergency, Richmond Fire-Rescue Personnel may be dispatched to an incident at any time.

The firehall is open for a number of public events every year. Please check our Event Calendar for more information about these events.

To request our participation for your event, please visit our Public Education page and fill out the form and we will get back to you as soon as possible.*

A minimum of 2 weeks advance notice is required for us to be able to plan and fulfill your request.

*In the event of an emergency, Richmond Fire-Rescue Personnel may be dispatched to an incident at any time.

The number one cause of fire in Richmond is carelessly discarded smoking materials. Please visit our Awareness Campaigns page to learn more.

Richmond Fire-Rescue does not distribute, maintain or change the batteries in smoke alarms. You can purchase one at your local hardware supplies retail store.

All home smoke alarms have a test button. Press and hold the ‘test’ button until the smoke alarm beeps. If it beeps, you will know that it is working. If it doesn’t beep while you are holding down the test button that means the batteries may have expired and it is time to replace them.

It is advised that you replace your smoke alarm batteries twice a year and test your smoke alarm once a month. Please refer to your manufacturer’s recommendations.

A few reasons why your smoke alarm is chirping:

  • Loose, or improperly installed battery
  • Smoke alarm sensing chamber may be dirty (dust)
  • Environmental conditions (humidity, steam, condensation, hot day)
  • It may be expired, or the battery may be expired

All household fire extinguishers are classified A, B, or C (or a combination of these) on the label to indicate which types of fires the extinguisher can be used on:

  • A: For ordinary combustibles
  • B: For flammable liquids
  • C: For electrical

Many of the ones sold at home stores are classified A:B:C and fight all three types of fires.

Fire extinguishers last anywhere between 5 to 10 years. Make sure to check the expiry dates on your fire extinguisher. Once it expires, you must either refill the fire extinguisher or dispose of it. To refill or recycle your fire extinguisher, we recommend calling a local fire safety and commercial security company such as or Ace Fire Prevention to refill or recycle it for you – additional costs may apply.

If you decide to dispose your fire extinguishers, you cannot simply throw the old ones in the trash. Pressurized chemicals can be extremely dangerous when mishandled, so take the time to dispose of the canisters or recycle them properly. Take your old fire extinguisher canisters to a fire protection company like or Ace Fire Prevention, to dispose of it – or you can simply take it The Richmond Recycling Depot at 5555 Lynas Lane.

Richmond Fire-Rescue does not have a fire extinguisher certification program.

Cold Fire is a product that Richmond Fire-Rescue currently uses. This easy to use product extinguishes fires rapidly and on contact. It is non-hazardous, non-toxic and non-corrosive. It is also biodegradable and environmentally friendly.

Cold Fire can extinguish Class A, B, D or K fires (ordinary combustibles, flammable liquids, combustible metals, and cooking media).

Cold Fire should not be used on Class C fires (electrical). If it is safe to do so, unplug the electrical equipment before attempting to use this extinguisher. For oven fires, turn the oven off and keep the door closed. Cold Fire should not be used for small grease fires. Smother grease fires by sliding a lid over the pan and turning off the stove top.

Cold Fire should not be used for large fires, remember your safety is important. When in doubt, ensure other occupants know there is a fire, get out and stay out!

Please visit Cold Fire Canada for more information.

It is important to understand that the Cold Fire product does not replace the requirement to have a fire extinguisher in a public occupancy building and/or strata.

Details on the frequency and how to hold a fire drill in your apartment, condominium and/or business would be in your building’s Fire Safety Plan.

While Richmond Fire-Rescue does not oversee fire drills, you may contact us if you want to receive more information pertaining to your alarm monitoring system and liability issues during fire drills.

You can find your fire safety plan at the main lobby of your building, usually right beside the fire alarm panels.

If you can’t locate your building’s fire safety plan, contact your property manager


Yearly or if any alterations to the site plan and floor plans have been made.

To request an inspection or to report a potential violation of fire hazard:


For more information on  fire inspection inquiries, please call 604-278-5131 or email


Richmond Fire-Rescue issues the following permits:

  • Low/ High Hazard Fireworks – Public Display (Qualified Fire Works Supervisor) – Link to Permit
  • Outdoor Burning – Agricultural Only (October 01 – April 30)- Link to Permit

Please call 604-278-5131 for more information on Fireworks and Burning Permits.

Richmond Fire-Rescue will determine that a Fire Watch Program is required for one or more of the following reasons at your building:

  • Nuisance alarms; or
  • Significant loss or reduction of water supplies for sprinkler, standpipe and/or fire hydrant systems, including fire pumps, water reservoirs, etc. which are required for fire fighting purposes; or
  • A loss of reduction of the normally intended performance of any life or property safety system; or
  • A loss of normal and/or emergency power supplies necessary for the intended performance of any life or property safety system(s); or
  • A loss or reduction of required means of egress from a building. A means of egress includes the path of travel from any point within a building to a safe area in a public thoroughfare; or
  • Activities for which the floor area is not specifically designed, or protected from, or where the level of intended protection is reduced; or a condition exists, which in the opinion of an Officer of Richmond Fire-Rescue, reduces the level of protection to the building or life safety of the occupants of the building; or
  • A loss or reduction of any required fire lane or emergency access routes or openings; or
  • A hot work operation is being conducted. Hot work includes but is not limited to welding, brazing, grinding, or other process which may cause arcs, sparks, hot particulate or rise in temperature that may ignite combustible or flammable materials.

The building owner or the owner’s designated representative is expected to initiate and maintain a Fire Watch Program in accordance with the instructions and procedures of the Fire Watch Notice, on his or her own initiative, with or without the involvement of Richmond Fire-Rescue.

A Fire Watch Program log shall be maintained at the building. The log must be available to Richmond Fire-Rescue, upon request, at all times during the Fire Watch.

Contact Richmond Fire-Rescue during business hours (Monday-Friday) at 604-278-5131 for an additional Fire Watch Program Log, as each program log documents a 24-hour period.

It is the responsibility of the owner or the owner’s designated representative to cancel the Fire Watch once the fire or life safety system has been repaired and fully restored.

Once the Fire Watch Program has been cancelled, the owner or owner’s representative must notify the alarm monitoring company (if applicable) and provide Richmond Fire-Rescue with the appropriate documentation.

For additional information about life or property protection systems, please contact us with your inquiry.

Barbecues may be allowed on outdoor balconies, for cooking purposes only. Please check with your strata council and/or manager for your apartment regulations.

NOTE: You should never use your barbecue indoors.

For those who need strobe lights or bed shakers to alert them to emergencies, Richmond Fire-Rescue recommends the Wavefront Centre for Communication Accessibility either online or in person.

2005 Quebec Street, Vancouver BC, V5T 2Z6
Phone: (604) 736-7391
Online: ShopWaveFrontCentre.Com

Details on the requirements to become a firefighter can be found on our Careers page.

Richmond Fire-Rescue does not have volunteer firefighter opportunities. Community members who are interested in getting involved with our events and programming can email to express their interest.

Firefighters at Richmond Fire-Rescue work in shifts. Shift work involves having to work 4 days on followed by 4 days off. Within the 4 days that they work, 2 days are day shifts followed by 2 days of night shifts.

Richmond Fire-Rescue usually starts the process to hire firefighters in the first quarter of the year. Also known as a recruitment competition, this process involves testing and interviews over a period of several months. The fire department accepts applications online.

Please visit our Careers page for upcoming job postings.

You must be a Canadian citizen and/or have legal entitlement to work in Canada, and go through our normal application process.