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Frequently Asked Questions

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.

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, 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 VanFire.com 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 VanFire.com or Ace Fire Prevention, to dispose of it – please double check with the organization before your visit. Additional costs may apply.

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

Cold Fire is a product that Richmond Fire-Rescue currently sells. 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.

For fire inspection inquiries, please call 604-278-5131 or email fire@richmond.ca.

Richmond Fire-Rescue issues the following permits:

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

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.

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 fire@richmond.ca 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.