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Frequently Asked Questions and Helpful Phone Numbers


What are your hours of operation?

You may view our hours here.


I’d like to have my son/daughter’s birthday party at a Fire Station. What do I need to do?

Please call our administrative office at 780-7400 during business hours to arrange a Station Tour. We are happy to conduct a tour for your group and suggest going to one of our parks for cake and ice cream. Because our personnel are on duty, we can not have parties in the stations. Please plan on a minimum of two weeks advance notice for a Station tour and remember that responding to emergency calls is our FIRST priority. Children and adults of all ages are welcome.


How do I schedule a ride along?

Participants must be at least 18 years of age and should schedule the ride along by calling the Administrative Office. The Station Captain approves the time of the ride-along. The ride along program hours is between 0800 and 2100 hours.


Do I need a smoke detector?

A smoke detector is ALWAYS recommended and required by code as listed below:

In dwelling units, smoke detectors shall be mounted on the ceiling or wall at a point centrally located in the corridor or area giving access to each separate sleeping area.

In dwelling units built after 1991 or when additions, alterations or repairs to the interior exceed $1,000 in valuation and require a building permit, smoke detectors shall be installed in each sleeping room and at a point centrally located in the corridor or area giving access to each sleeping area.

In all cases, when a dwelling unit has more than one story or has a basement, a smoke detector shall be installed on each story and in the basement.


Our fire extinguisher is old/been used. Does the Fire Department refill them?

The Redwood City Fire Department does not service fire extinguishers. Please find a professional fire extinguisher service company in the Yellow Pages under “Fire Extinguisher.”


I have some old paint and dead batteries in my garage and am afraid they are a fire hazard. What should I do?

All household hazardous items (batteries, oil, antifreeze, paint, fertilizers, pesticides, thermometers/thermostats, cleaning agents, aerosols, fluorescent light bulbs) need to be disposed through the San Mateo County Household Hazardous Waste Program. Call (650) 363-4718 or for an appointment.


I’m planning a block party BBQ, do I need a permit?

If you would like to block off your street, please contact Redwood City Police Department for information. Underground cooking (pigs) is allowed and needs to be reported to the Fire Department Administration Office during business hours (650) 780-7400.


My neighbor is burning in their backyard. What should I do?

Please call Bay Area Air Quality Control to report it. (800) 792-0787 or (800) 334-ODOR. City of Redwood City ordinance prohibits open burning.


I need help installing my child’s car safety seat. Who should I call?

The following agencies can help you with your car seat installation:


My cat is up a tree or there is an animal trapped under my house, what should I do?

Call the Peninsula Humane Society at (650) 340-8200.


I want to report a leaking or broken fire hydrant.

Call the Redwood City Water Department at (650) 780-7474 or (650) 780-7464. If it is an emergency, call 9-1-1.


Where do I submit plans for Fire Department review?

A minimum of 2 copies of plans to be reviewed for incorporated Redwood City need to be submitted to the Building Permit Technician at the Building Counter in City Hall, 1017 Middlefield Road. Plans for the unincorporated area protected by the Redwood City Fire Department shall be submitted to the San Mateo County Building Division at 455 County Center, Redwood City, CA 94063. Fees are applied.

Helpful Numbers:

  • R.C.F.D. plan checking contact (650) 780-7375
  • Building Permit Information (650) 780-7350
  • Permits Technician/Plan Status for City submitted plans (650) 780-7349
  • County Building Department for County submitted plans (650) 599-7311

How do I get a copy of an Incident/Investigative report?

A Fire Incident Report is created for every call which the Redwood City Fire Department responds. Requests for Incident Reports are made in writing and directed to the Redwood City Fire Department. There is a nominal charge.

When an incident is under investigation (for suspicion of criminal activity) a Fire Investigation report is created. This document is classified and a subpoena is required to obtain a copy. Fees are applied.

Q.   Can I buy a Redwood City Fire Department patch?
    The Redwood City Fire Department has traditionally never worn a patch. We DO NOT have patches for sale or any other reason.


  Where can I buy a KnoxBox?

To buy a knoxbox, visit:

Helpful Phone Numbers


Redwood City Police Department (650) 780-7100
San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office (650) 363-4000
California Highway Patrol (650) 369-6261

San Mateo County Dispatch Center - Non Emergency (650) 368-1421
Bay Area Air Quality Control (800) 792-0787 or
Household Hazardous Waste Program
(650) 363-4718
Peninsula Humane Society (650) 340-8200

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