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Are barbeque grills allowed on balconies?
Do I need to put a smoke detector in every room? How many do I need?
How do I become a Plymouth firefighter?
What are the minimum qualifications needed to become a Plymouth firefighter?
How long does it take for the Fire Department to arrive after I call 9-1-1?
Are Plymouth’s fire stations staffed?
As a driver, what should I do when an emergency service vehicle approaches with red lights and sirens?
How do I create an escape plan for my home?
If a member of my family is disabled, how can we prepare for their safety during an emergency?
When is it appropriate to dial 9-1-1?
What is the city’s Insurance Services Office (ISO) rating?
Are recreational fires legal in the city?
What fireworks are legal and illegal in Minnesota?
What is the city’s alarm policy?
How often do smoke detectors need to be tested?
What kind of fire extinguisher should I buy for my home or garage?
Do I need to have a carbon monoxide (CO) detector in my home?
What should I look for when purchasing a carbon monoxide (CO) detector?
What other duties do firefighters have besides responding to fire calls?
What is the staffed station (duty crew) program?
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Q: Are barbeque grills allowed on balconies?
A:
No. Barbeque grills may not be used on above ground balconies. They are also prohibited on ground floor patios adjacent to or within 15 feet of any unit in a building that has two or more vertically stacked residential units. In addition, propane should never be stored in a building or confined space.
Q: Do I need to put a smoke detector in every room? How many do I need?
A:

Smoke detectors should be placed outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement. On floors without bedrooms, detectors should be installed in or near living areas such as dens, living rooms or family rooms.

New construction requires smoke detectors to be placed in every bedroom. When alterations, repairs or additions requiring a permit, or when one or more sleeping rooms are added or created in existing dwellings, the individual dwelling unit shall be provided with smoke detectors located as required for new dwellings. The smoke detectors shall be interconnected and hardwired.

Exceptions:

  1. Smoke detectors in existing areas shall not be required to be interconnected and hardwired where the alterations or repairs do not result in the removal of interior wall or ceiling finishes exposing the structure.
  2. Work on the exterior surfaces of dwellings, such as roofing and siding.

For more information, call the Building Inspections Division at 763-509-5430.

Q: How do I become a Plymouth firefighter?
A:

The Plymouth Fire Department typically hires paid-on-call firefighters on an annual basis.

For more information, visit the Fire Department page and click on the Becoming a Firefighter link.

If you have questions, please call Heidi Sanderson at 763-509-5122.

Q: What are the minimum qualifications needed to become a Plymouth firefighter?
A:

To be minimally qualified, one must:

  • Be a high school graduate or equivalent and at least 18 years of age on appointment date. 
  • Successfully pass initial and periodic physical ability tests, physical examinations, criminal background checks, stress tests, drug screens, pulmonary function tests and psychological evaluations. 
  • Possess a valid Minnesota driver's license. 
  • Have the ability to regularly respond to emergency calls within established time periods.

Firefighters hired for daytime duty crew must maintain a 20-minute travel time to a Plymouth fire station and be affiliated with another fire department during their non-duty crew time. Others must maintain a six minute travel time during their designated on-call, available time. Department rules prohibit tobacco use while on duty.

Q: How long does it take for the Fire Department to arrive after I call 9-1-1?
A:
On average, daytime response is 4-6 minutes, and evening response is 9-12 minutes. Many things may influence response time, including weather, call location, time of day and other pending calls.
Q: Are Plymouth’s fire stations staffed?
A:
No. However the department operates a staffed station (duty crew) program from one of our three fire stations with firefighters at the station from 6:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Coverage during non-staffed station hours of operation is accomplished through a traditional page-out system.
Q: As a driver, what should I do when an emergency service vehicle approaches with red lights and sirens?
A:
When an emergency vehicle approaches with red lights and sirens, yield the right-of-way to the vehicle by pulling as far to the right as possible and bringing the vehicle to a complete stop.
Q: How do I create an escape plan for my home?
A:

Begin by installing a smoke detector on every level of your home and outside of sleeping areas. Make sure that every family member knows what detectors sound like and what they should do in case of an emergency.

  1. Know two ways out of every room, and never return to a smoke-filled or burning building.
  2. Pick a meeting place outside of the home where your family will gather in case of an emergency. 
  3. Sleep with bedroom doors closed. 
  4. Purchase escape ladders for second and third story windows. Make sure bedroom windows open easily. 
  5. Make sure that house address is displayed on house and garage, and is clearly visible from the street.
Q: If a member of my family is disabled, how can we prepare for their safety during an emergency?
A:
Provide information to the Fire Department for anyone who may have difficulty evacuating the home during an emergency. The information will be entered into the 9-1-1 dispatch system. Identify someone to take care of the individual in an emergency. Make sure that anyone confined to a wheelchair has immediate access to their wheelchair. Keep a list of all medications needed by family members on the refrigerator.
Q: When is it appropriate to dial 9-1-1?
A:
Anytime that you need police, fire or medical service dial 9-1-1. In Hennepin County, all public safety service calls are dispatched through 9-1-1, even if it is not an emergency.
Q: What is the city’s Insurance Services Office (ISO) rating?
A:
The city’s ISO rating is a 3.
Q: Are recreational fires legal in the city?
A:

Yes, provided that certain requirements are met. Please use caution and follow the requirements below.

  1. The fire must be contained in an area of no more than three foot in diameter and completely surrounded by non-combustible and non-smoke or odor producing materials, such as brick, rock or cement. 
  2. The fire must be at least 25 feet from any structure. 
  3. Combustibles or flammable liquids may not be used to ignite the fire. 
  4. Only clean wood or charcoal may be burned. No burning of trash, leaves or brush is allowed. 
  5. A fire extinguishing device must be readily available. 
  6. The fire must be tended until totally extinguished. 
  7. Consider weather conditions, neighbors, burning bans and air quality so that nuisance, health or safety hazards will not be created.

Mobile cooking devices such as manufactured hibachis, charcoal grills, wood smokers and propane or natural gas devises and burners are not defined as recreational fires.

Q: What fireworks are legal and illegal in Minnesota?
A:

Minnesota law allows for the public sale, possession and use of a limited number of consumer fireworks. Permitted items include sparklers, spark emitting cone sand tubes and novelty items like snakes and party poppers.

Fireworks may not be used on public property , such as parks, roads, alleys, schools or government property. You must be at least 18 years old to purchase fireworks. Retailers are required to check photo identification. The sale, possession or use of fireworks may occur throughout the year.

Explosive and aerial fireworks are prohibited for public sale, possession and use in the Minnesota. Prohibited fireworks include, but are not limited to firecrackers, bottle rockets, missiles, roman candles, mortars and shells.

Q: What is the city’s alarm policy?
A:
Alarm users are required to register with the city. In the event that a fire alarm sounds, the fire chief shall determine if the alarm event is chargeable. Acts of nature such as high winds, lightning or power outages that cause alarms to malfunction are not chargeable.

False alarm fees may be rescinded if the alarm holder provides certification that the system has been serviced/repaired or they have received education or training on the system to help eliminate future alarms. Verification of alarm system maintenance or service must be made in written format on official letterhead of the alarm company and provided within five days of alarm activation or notice thereof.

Per Calendar Year

  Residential

  Commercial/Multi-housing

 #of False Alarms

Police 

Fire 

Police 

Fire 

1st Alarm

$100 

$100

2nd Alarm

0

$200

$50

$200

3rd Alarm

$50

$200

$75 

$300

4th Alarm

$50 

$200 

$100 

$400

5th Alarm

$50

$200

$125

$500

6th Alarm

$50

$200

$150

$500

7th Alarm

$50

$200

$175

$500

Subsequent Alarms

$50

$200

$200

$500

Q: How often do smoke detectors need to be tested?
A:
Test smoke detectors monthly, change their batteries once a year, and vacuum dust from them periodically.
Q: What kind of fire extinguisher should I buy for my home or garage?
A:
Purchase extinguishers that can handle class A-B-C fires. The proper extinguisher will properly extinguish wood, paper, flammable liquids and electrical fires. Fully discharge used extinguishers and dispose in your regular trash.
Q: Do I need to have a carbon monoxide (CO) detector in my home?
A:
Yes. All newly constructed single family and multifamily dwellings for which building permits were issued on or after Jan. 1, 2007, require a CO detector located within 10 feet of each bedroom.

All existing single family dwelling units and all multifamily dwelling units are also required to have a CO detector.
Q: What should I look for when purchasing a carbon monoxide (CO) detector?
A:
Your CO detector must have the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) symbol, which means the detector has met the recommended safety standards of the American National Standards Institute. All CO detectors manufactured after October 1995 comply with the improved safety standards.

Some features to look for are an audible alarm, a digital readout and an AC/DC powered detector. This will ensure coverage during a power outage.
Q: What other duties do firefighters have besides responding to fire calls?
A:

Firefighters not only protect lives and property from the adverse effects of fire, they also respond to motor vehicle and industrial accidents, hazardous material incidents and exposure to dangerous conditions. They bring fire prevention education into school classrooms, neighborhoods and businesses.

Firefighters participate in regular training and maintenance activities. Firefighters also carry out fire safety inspections to become familiar with the community's needs and to reduce response time during incidents.

Q: What is the staffed station (duty crew) program?
A:

The staffed station (duty crew) program is a staffing model that supplements the traditional paid-on-call department. Duty crew members schedule to work blocks of time during peak service call periods.

The Plymouth duty crew staffs one fire station and members respond to calls, participate in training sessions, perform maintenance activities and present public education programs.

Piloted in 1998, the duty crew program has reduced response time, guaranteed staffing levels, increased training activities and expanded public safety initiatives. In 2001, the program was expanded to operate 15 hours per day, six days a week, Monday through Saturday, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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