Accessibility and Website Information Skip Site Wide Navigation Skip to Content City Seal | HomeCity of San Diego | Home
Search City of San Diego

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I obtain a fire or medical report?

Go to our Forms web page.

How do I dispose of fireworks or ammunition?

If you reside within the City of San Diego, your local fire station will accept personal use amounts of unaltered ammunition (no larger than 50 caliber), reloading supplies, and fireworks for disposal. If you are unsure whether it is safe to transport the item you wish to dispose of, contact MAST at (619) 236-6815 to speak with an explosives expert.

What should I do if I find a bomb, military munition or suspected explosive device?

Do NOT attempt to examine or move the item. If possible, station someone at a safe distance to warn others of the presence of the item. Immediately call 9-1-1 and report what you have found. A police officer and Explosive Device Technician will be dispatched to meet you.

How do I report a fire code violation?

Complaints related to buildings or building access should be referred to the Fire Hazard Advisor at (619) 533-4411. If a complaint involves conditions inside individual "dwelling units," it should be directed to Code Enforcement at (619) 236-5500, unless the complaint is related to fire protection (i.e. smoke detectors, malfunctioning alarm system, etc.).

A complaint about a fire hazard created by brush should be directed to the Fire Hazard Advisor at (619) 533-4444.

Do you have a juvenile firesetter intervention program?

The San Diego Fire-Rescue Department and its Metro Arson Strike Team work together with the San Diego Burn Institute to educate parents and children about the dangers of playing with fire.

The Burn Institute's Juvenile Firesetter Intervention Program is designed to teach children about the damaging consequences of playing with fire. The program involves child/parent interviews and educational sessions. If additional help is needed the Burn Institute can refer families to community mental health professionals.

You can contact the Burn Institute at (858) 541-2277. The Burn Institute is located at 8825 Aero Drive #200, San Diego, CA 92123.

Can I have my child's birthday party at the fire station?

No. Birthday parties are not held at fire stations. Information on station visitations is at Fire Station Tours and Visits. If you are looking for a party venue with a firefighting theme, try San Diego's Firehouse Museum at (619) 232-3473.

Why does a fire engine go on medical calls?

When faced with a life-threatening situation, people want medical help as soon as possible. In the City of San Diego, that help usually arrives first in a fire engine.

911 calls are screened by dispatchers who are trained in Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD) protocols. EMD is a national standard that is reviewed on a monthly basis.

Most fire departments send a fire engine (first responder) to all 911 medical calls. We triage our 911 calls and send a first responder to approximately 65 percent of 911 calls; those in which there is a potentially life threatening condition where every minute counts. San Diego County EMS Policy requires two paramedics respond to all 911 life threatening calls. Ambulances are staffed with one emergency medical technician (EMT) and one paramedic and first responders have a minimum of one firefighter/paramedic on board.

With 47 fire stations strategically placed throughout neighborhoods, and an average of 28 ambulances throughout the city, a first responder can arrive on the scene of an emergency more quickly than an ambulance. The paramedic/firefighter is soon reinforced by a paramedic ambulance.

First responders also provide full paramedic care and augment ambulance staffing during transport of critical patients. The Captain on each first responder is a City Supervisor and addresses any on-scene logistical, legal or citizen issues and ensures compliance with San Diego Fire-Rescue Department and Emergency Medical Service policies and procedures.

Who is responsible for the installation of the smoke detector in my home?

You are responsible if you own your own home. Otherwise, the landlord is responsible for the purchase and installation.

When can you service my extinguishers?

The department does not service fire extinguishers. You will need to find a company which services fire extinguishers.

Any company which provides this service must have a license from the State Fire Marshal to perform this type of work.

Can I use my barbecue on my balcony?

Charcoal burners and other open flame cooking devices (including propane fueled grills) cannot be operated on combustible balconies or within ten feet of combustible material. There is an exception for single family homes or where balconies are protected by sprinkler systems.