Fall & Winter Fire Safety Tips
Heating Equipment Safety
Did you know that fall and winter months bring more residential home fires than any other time of year? Many of these causes are from unsafe heating practices and neglectful care of heating equipment. There are many things you can do to prevent heating fires in your home.
- Keep a 3 foot area around heating equipment clear of any flammables.
- Have a "kid-free" safety zone around open fires and space heaters.
- Never use your oven to heat your home.
- Remember to turn off portable heaters when leaving the room or going to bed.
- Have your heating equipment and chimneys inspected and cleaned annually.
- Test smoke alarms once a month.
Check out these links for helpful information on heating equipment maintenance and safety.
- Focus on Fire Safety: Heating Fire Safety
- NFPA Heating Safety Tips
- US Fire Administration's Heating Safety Outreach
- NFPA: Christmas Tree Decoration Fires
- US Fire Administration: Holiday Fire Safety
- Christmas Tree Safety (PDF)
Snow Removal - Fire Hydrants and Exit Doors
- Residents with a fire hydrant located in front of their home are asked to clean snow away from the hydrants when they clear their sidewalk or driveway.
- Having hydrants that can be easily accessed by the Fire Department allows firefighters to use valuable time fighting a fire versus finding a hydrant. Hydrants should have three feet, or one meter, of clearance around them whenever possible.
- Our Fire Prevention Bureau finds many exit doors blocked by snow. All doors should be checked to make sure they can open and are not blocked by snow.
Thanksgiving: Cooking Fire Safety
NFPA urges attention to safety when preparing holiday meals. Check out these links for information on how to stay safe during your Thanksgiving Holiday.
- Thanksgiving Cooking Tips
- Thanksgiving Safety Tips (PDF)
- Thanksgiving Safety from the US Fire Administration
Spring & Summer Fire Safety Tips
Open Burning Season & Burn Permits
Pending fire restrictions, March 1st begins the open burning Season for all Missoula County Residents. Open burning permits are sold by the county and city residents with a minimum 1 acre parcel of land are eligible. For more on our open burning policy and how to get a permit, see our Missoula Burn Permits page.
Campfires, Fire Pits, and Bonfires: Open Space Restrictions and/or Closures
Please note that all open fires including campfires and wood fueled fire pits are prohibited throughout the year within the City of Missoula per City Ordinance 3175 (PDF). Open space restrictions and closures are implemented only in situations where the public's safety and firefighter safety is at great risk.
The Missoula Fire Department works with surrounding agencies who provide fire protection and/or manage public lands to implement and/or rescind restrictions and closures of city-owned property. This is accomplished by our participation in the Missoula County Fire Protection Association (MCFPA). During the fire season, MCFPA representatives meet every Monday morning to analyze and discuss information relating to fire conditions. This includes weather, fuel conditions, resource availability, and other factors that influence restrictions and closures.
Per Montana State law, the Mayor of Missoula has the authority to proclaim an emergency. When surrounding agencies implement fire restrictions, and when advised by the MCFPA, the mayor shall consider the application of these same restrictions to City of Missoula open space/conservation lands.
This regulation applies to residential campfires, commercial and home made fire pits, and recreational bonfires. If your organization is looking to host a bonfire event, please contact the Missoula County Health Department for a Bonfire Permit.
Camping and Campfire Safety
Your firefighters remind citizens that the use of most fireworks within City limits is illegal. Exceptions are novelties: party poppers, snappers, toy smoke devices, snakes and glow worms, and sparklers. The ordinance will be enforced. You can view more information on these novelties by clicking here. Questions regarding fireworks regulations can be answered by the Fire Prevention Bureau at 406-552-6210.