How to Find the Nearest Fire Station to Your HomeThis is a new document that is under construction. If you have feedback on how to make it better, please post it here
When you are buying a home, safety is an important factor to consider. Your home's location and relative distance to a fire station will greatly impact a fire department's response time. But, there are many other important factors to consider, like whether or not the fire station is staffed 24 hours a day. A fire station across the street from your home, that is not staffed 24 hours a day may give you a false sense of security. When a fire station is not staffed, another fire station across town or in a neighboring town may be the first to respond to an emergency.
Finding the nearest fire department or fire station:
Visit firedepartment.net/nearest-fire-department. Either select the button to use your "Use My Location" or you can enter a location and press the "Search" button. This will populate the interactive map with the fire departments in the location you've entered. Due to the large number of fire departments in some areas (like Los Angeles or New York), you may have to zoom in to see the fire departments and fire stations on the map.
Fire departments often have multiple fire stations, some of which are not listed on FireDepartment.net. If a fire department does not list any fire stations, you may want to call them and ask them if they have a fire station closer to your home. If they inform you of a fire station closer, please ask them to add all of their fire stations to FireDepartment.net's free service. By doing this, you and your fire department will make it easier for others in your community when they search for a fire station.
What Questions should you Ask:
Insurance companies rate homes based on risk and the emergency response capabilities of the area. Homes that are rated with a lower risk usually receive lower insurance rates. The distance to a fire department is one important factor in determining risk. But, insurance companies also evaluate the capabilities of your local fire station to determine overall risk. Below are some of the factors that insurance companies use to determine the fire safety rating of your home.
How far is the nearest fire station?
A shorter distance usually means a quicker response time.
How far is the nearest fire hydrant?
Fire engines have a limited amount of water on board (typically carrying 500-1,000 gallons). Some fire stations also have water tenders that carry additional water (typically caring 1,000-5,000 gallon). 500 gallons can go very fast when fighting a structure fire. If you don't have a fire hydrant nearby, it significantly limits a firefighter's ability to put out the fire.
How many and what type of fire equipment are assigned to this fire station?
The difference between one staffed fire engine and two staffed fire engines is significant, allowing the fire station to effectively respond to larger incidents or multiple incidents. Basic fire stations usually have a fire engine and a utility vehicle. Larger fire stations either have more fire engines or various types and sizes of fire engine for different types of fires (grass fire, wildland fire, structure fires), water tenders to carry additional water, ladder trucks to access tall buildings, HazMat resources for toxic spills, and some even have swift water or steep angle rescue capabilities. Typically, more equipment with trained personnel on site means a higher degree of safety.
Is this a paid or volunteer fire station?
Most paid fire personnel are either at the fire station or incident whenever they are on the clock. But, most volunteer fire personnel respond from their home or place of business and either meet at the fire station or respond directly to the incident when paged. Typically, paid fire departments have a faster response time due to the logistical advantage of having a full crew at the fire station, ready to respond.
What size community is this fire station responsible for (both area and # of people)?
One fire engine serving 5,000 people and one server 10,000 people will often have a much different average response time. When a fire engine is responding to an incident, the fire station will either not have a fire engine available to respond or a neighboring community’s fire engine will be assigned to cover this area.
What hours is this fire station staffed and ready to respond?
If a fire station is only staffed 8 hours a day, there are 16 hours a day that this station will not be responding to emergencies. If this is the case, you may want to find the next closest fire station that is staffed 24 hours a day.
Are there trained EMS personnel and does this fire station provide medical transport?
At fire stations, medical calls often exceed the number of fire calls. Many firefighting personnel both volunteer and paid are trained in basic first aid and CPR. Others have more extensive training. Some larger fire stations, especially in large cities, have an ambulance assigned to fire stations with highly trained personnel 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In the event where a patient's heart stops, they stop breathing, or there is massive bleeding, time is of the essence.
If your fire department does not have EMS and/or transport, ask how provides these services and where they are located.