Fire Prevention & Awareness
October is #NationalFirePreventionMonth, a crucial time to raise awareness about fire safety and prevent potential disasters. Take the time to review and update your fire safety measures, including checking smoke detectors, practicing fire drills, and being mindful of fire hazards. Fire prevention & safety is important for everyone! Throughout the month of October, we'll be featuring tips, activities, or event related information to the community on our social media pages.
Fire safety topics and tips that will be provided include:
- Smoke Alarm Maintenance: Highlighting the importance of having working smoke alarms in homes and businesses and teaching people how to test and maintain them.
- Escape Planning: Educating individuals and families about the importance of having a fire escape plan in place and practicing it regularly.
- Fire Extinguisher Use: Providing information on using a fire extinguisher effectively and safely in case of a small fire.
- Kitchen Safety: Emphasizing safe cooking practices to prevent kitchen fires, a common cause of household fires.
- Heating Safety: Providing tips for safely using heating equipment like space heaters, furnaces, and fireplaces.
- Grilling Safety: Offering guidance on safe grilling practices to prevent outdoor fires and injuries.
- Electrical Safety: Educating about properly using electrical appliances, outlets, and cords to prevent electrical fires.
- Wildfire Prevention: Educating communities in wildfire-prone areas about steps to reduce the risk of wildfires.
Fire Prevention Week is observed each year during the week of October 9th in commemoration of the Great Chicago Fire, which began on October 8, 1871, and caused devastating damage. This horrific conflagration killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures, and burned more than 2,000 acres of land. [source: www.nfpa.org]
Fire Prevention Programs & Resources
Smoke Detector Program
The Missoula Fire Department (MFD) desires at least one working smoke detector in every household. With that goal, we have committed to provide at least one smoke detector and/or batteries for to residents living in the city of Missoula who may not be able to otherwise afford them. If you need a detector or assistance obtaining or installing a detector, please call 406-552-6210 during normal business hours and we will be happy to assist you.
If you are a perspective new homeowner or tenant of a rental, state law requires provisions for smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. As it is the responsibility of property owner, MFD cannot provide tenants or landlords with smoke detectors. Please see Montana Code annotated 70-24-30: Landlord To Maintain Premises.
- Montana Code Annotated: 70-20-113 Notice of presence of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors upon sale of dwelling.
Carbon Monoxide Detectors
For installation or questions about your carbon monoxide (CO) detector, please call 406-552-6210 during normal business hours.
At this time the Missoula Fire Department, does not have CO detectors available for distribution. However, the Missoula Safe Kids Coalition has recently received a grant for minimal distribution of CO detectors for Missoula residents. For more information, you can contact them at 406-926-2522.
Help First Responders Arriving to your Property
The Missoula Fire Department cooperates with local businesses and homeowners to ensure we have access to their properties and knowledge of their building in an event of an emergency. We have three programs that fulfill those needs: our lockbox program, our pre-plan program, and Missoula's Smart911 program.
The Lockbox Program
A lockbox will ensure that the fire department has the ability to gain access to a business or at-risk residence upon an emergency response. These boxes are designed to contain your property keys or access codes that allow us quick entry in the event of an emergency. They are for the purposes of access when occupants are not on site. If you own a property that could benefit from a lockbox, please call our headquarters at 406-552-6210 to inquire further.
The Pre-Plan Program
Pre-plans put our operations staff directly into the buildings in our community. An engine company will tour the space for layout familiarity and record details like alarm locations, gas shut off valves and noted hazards present. This program assists in promoting safe firefighting practices for our crews and our community.
Smart 911 is a program brought to Missoula by the Department of Emergency Services. It allows you to create a free on-line profile of your business or residence to record specific information about residents or hazards that may be present there. Missoula's 911 dispatchers can translate this information to first responders arriving to your property. MFD believes this program to be valuable to our citizens and we strongly encourage you to take a moment to create and fill out a profile if you haven't already.
International Fire Code states that any residential dwelling unit with three or more units is considered a multi-family residential dwelling. In 2017, the US Fire Administration (USFA) developed a detailed report of fire statistics occurring in the United States from 2013-2015. This report highlights some scary statistics about fires in these dwellings and offers some great information. Multi-family residential safety is the responsibility of both the landlord and the tenant. To help ensure you that your living situation is safe, MFD has compiled some informational links. If you have any further questions or concerns about fire and life safety in your multi-family dwelling, our Fire Prevention Bureau may be able to help. You can reach them by phone at (406) 552-6210.
- Multifamily Residential Building Fires from 2013-2015 from the USFA
- Apartment Fire Safety Begins with the Plan from the USFA
- High-rise Apartment & Condo Safety from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
- Fire Alarms in Apartment Buildings from the NFPA
- Keeping Stairways Clear for Evacuation in Dorms from the NFPA