Below are some of the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) presented to the Fire Department Staff.

Where can I dispose of a fire extinguisher?

Fire extinguishers can be brought to the Dakota County Recycling Zone to be recycled for free. The Recycling Zone can be found at 3365 Dodd Road in Eagan, MN. 

View the Recycling Zone website for drop-off guidelines and hours. 

Do We Have Burning Restriction in Farmington?

The DNR issues statewide regulations, if you live within a municipality that controls the open burning, local permits, or more stringent regulations may apply. The City of Farmington requires a Burn Permit for open burn fires, click on the titles below for more information.

Please call 651-280-6840 if you have questions.

Are fireworks allowed in Farmington?

The only fireworks that are legal in the State of Minnesota are non-explosive and non-aerial (such as sparklers, cones, and tubes that sparkle, snakes, and party poppers). Any fireworks that explode leave the ground, or shoot anything other than sparks into the air are illegal. You must be 18 years old to purchase fireworks and fireworks are not permitted on public property.

How do I select and install a smoke alarm?

In the event of a fire, properly installed and maintained smoke alarms will provide an early warning alarm to your household. This alarm could save your own life and those of your loved ones by providing the chance to escape. Click on the questions below for more information.


Why should my home have smoke alarms?

In the event of a fire, a smoke alarm can save your life and those of your loved ones. They are a very important means of preventing house and apartment fire fatalities by providing an early warning signal -- so you and your family can escape. Smoke alarms are one of the best safety devices you can buy and install to protect yourself, your family, and your home.

What types of smoke alarms are available?

There are many different brands of smoke alarms available on the market but they fall under two basic types: ionization and photoelectric.

Ionization alarms sound more quickly when a flaming, fast moving fire occurs. Photoelectric alarms are quicker at sensing smoldering, smoky fires. There are also combination smoke alarms that combine ionization and photoelectric into one unit, called dual sensor smoke alarms.

Because both ionization and photoelectric smoke alarms are better at detecting distinctly different yet potentially fatal fires, and because homeowners cannot predict what type of fire might start in a home, the USFA recommends the installation of both ionization and photoelectric or dual sensor smoke alarms.

In addition to the basic types of alarms, there are alarms made to meet the needs of people with hearing disabilities. These alarms may use strobe lights that flash and/or vibrate to assist in alerting those who are unable to hear standard smoke alarms when they sound.

Where do I put smoke alarms?

Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including the basement. Many fatal fires begin late at night or in the early morning. For extra safety, install smoke alarms both inside and outside sleeping areas. Since smoke and many deadly gases rise, installing your smoke alarms at the proper level will provide you with the earliest warning possible. Always follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions.

Are smoke alarms hard to install?

If your smoke alarms are hard wired, that is wired into the electrical system, you will need to have a qualified electrician do the initial installation or install replacements.

For battery powered smoke alarms, all you will need for installation is a screw driver. Some brands are self adhesive and will easily stick to the wall or ceiling where they are placed. For all smoke alarm installations, be sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions because there are differences between the various brands. If you are uncomfortable standing on a ladder, ask a relative or friend for help . If you have problems installing a smoke alarm contact the Fire Department (on the non-emergency telephone number) at 651-280-6840.

How do I keep my smoke alarm working?

If you have a smoke alarm with batteries:

  1. Smoke Alarms powered by long-lasting batteries are designed to replace the entire unit according to manufacturer’s instructions.

  2. In standard type battery powered smoke alarms, the batteries need to be replaced at least once per year and the whole unit should be replaced every 8-10 years.

  3. In hard-wired, battery back up smoke alarms, the batteries need to be checked monthly, and replaced at least once per year. The entire unit should be replaced every 8-10 years.

What if the alarm goes off while I am cooking?

Most alarms installed today have a life span of about 8-10 years. After this time, the entire unit should be replaced. It is a good idea to write the date of purchase with a marker on the inside of your alarm so you will know when to replace it. Some of the newer alarms already have the purchase date written inside. In any event, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for replacement.


Anything else I should know?

Some smoke alarms are considered to be “hard-wired.” This means they are connected to the household electrical system and may or may not have battery backup. It’s important to test every smoke alarm monthly and replace the batteries with new ones at least once a year.

The U.S. Fire Administration would like to remind you of some important fire safety and prevention information.

  • Plan and practice escape plans several times a year.

  • Make sure your whole family knows when and how to call emergency telephone numbers.

  • Obtain and learn how to use a fire extinguisher.

  • Install carbon monoxide detectors.

  • Consider installing residential fire sprinklers in your home.

Visit the U.S. Fire Administration's website with questions about fire safety.

How to make a home fire escape plan?

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends making a home escape plan as an important step to protect you and your family from fire. Make your own home fire escape plan using this printable file or follow the instructions below:

  • Draw a map of your home. Show all doors and windows.

  • Visit each room. Find two ways out.

  • All windows and doors should open easily. You should be able to use them to get outside.

  • Make sure your home has smoke alarms. Push the test button to make sure each alarm is working.

  • Pick a meeting place outside. It should be in front of your home.

  • Everyone will meet at the meeting place.

  • Make sure your house or building number can be seen from the street.

  • Talk about your plan with everyone in your home.

  • Learn the emergency phone number for your fire department.

  • Practice your home fire escape drill!

Everyone in a household has a role to play in your home's fire safety. The NFPA created a Family's Fire Checklist to help become familiar with smoke alarms and home fire escape planning.

How often should I check my smoke alarm batteries?

Fall Back on Sound Advice: Time to Change Your Clock and Your Smoke Alarm Battery. Daylight Savings Time Ends - check it out.


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