Frequently Asked Questions

Household and Residential Property

What can I legally burn on my property? 

  • Burning of trash and refuse is prohibited in the towns of Windsor and Severance and Larimer and Weld Counties. See Health Department websites for Weld and Larimer Counties for specific information regarding permitted open burning.  Open burning within the WSFR district requires permits from both Windsor Severance Fire Rescue and the respective county.   WSFR permit information is found here.
  • Cooking fires are legal throughout the WSFR district.
  • Recreational burning is allowed outside a single-family residence when the fire is contained in a portable outdoor fireplace. See more information here.
  • Bonfires are legal in unincorporated areas of Weld and Larimer Counties within the WSFR district. Please see more information  here.

 

What can I do about the fire safety risk from vegetation or trash accumulating on my neighbor’s property?  Contact your code enforcement division of the appropriate law enforcement jurisdiction.

What’s the ISO rating for my address? 

  • If your house is within 1000’ of a fire hydrant and within 5 miles of a fire station, your rating is 2
  • If your house is within 1000’ of a fire hydrant or within 5 miles of a fire station, your rating is 3
  • If your house is neither within 1000’ of a hydrant or within 5 miles of a station your rating is 10

My household smoke alarms have batteries?  Yes.  In residences, even though your smoke detectors are “hard-wired” into the household electrical system, smoke detectors are equipped with a battery backup.  For optimal reliability, WSFR recommends changing smoke detector batteries each time we change our clocks in the spring and fall for DST.  Change your clocks, change your batteries.  During battery changes, take the time to remove any dust accumulation per the manufacturers recommendations.

My smoke alarm is beeping/chirping/alarming.  What is it telling me?  Residential smoke alarms tell us a lot with both the alarm they are sounding and any LEDs or alpha numeric information displayed.  The documentation provided with your alarm will describe what the alarm is indicating.  Sometimes the alarm indications are printed on the “back” of the detector and can be read if the detector is removed from its bezel.  In the absence of this paperwork, an internet search for the make and model of the detector can return the appropriate documentation.

How long do smoke detectors last?  Smoke alarms have a service life of between 5-10 years depending on the manufacturer and model.  Inspect the date on the smoke alarm and verify with the manufacturers recommendation that the detector is within its service life.  A detector which has exceeded its service life and is still in use will give an indication or errantly generate alarms at some point.  This will usually occur at 2AM right after you’ve put your newborn down.  Again.

How can I improve fire safety in my home?

  • Cook safely. Cooking mishaps are a common cause of residential structure fires.  Keep handles on pots and pans turned in.  Keep the area around cooking appliances free of items that could catch fire.  Do not attempt to extinguish a grease fire with water, or discharge a fire extinguisher into a burning pot or pan – this will spread the fire.  Put a lid on it, if safe to do so.   For fires in ovens or microwaves, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
  • Smoke safely. WSFR recommends smoking outdoors if possible.  Confirm extinguishment of smoking materials by dousing with water or extinguishing with sand.  Never dispose of smoking materials in mulch, bark, saw dust trash cans or other combustible areas.
  • Maintain a safe household electrical system. Avoid overloading outlets and the prolonged use of extension cords.  Make sure your home is equipped with GFCI outlets where required.  Have frequently tripping breakers or blown fuses evaluated by a qualified professional.
  • Use candles cautiously. Candles can unintentionally cause fires through the emission of burning wax or by igniting nearby combustibles.

Records

How do I get a copy of my fire report?  Follow the instructions in our CORA Policy located here.

How do I get a copy of a medical report?  Contact medical records with University Health.

Business Related Questions

Do I need a fire extinguisher in my small business?  Yes.  A fire extinguisher is required in every business in our district.  In a small office setting, generally a multi-purpose dry chemical (commonly known as an A-B-C) extinguisher with a minimum rating of 2A is all that is required.  If your business has other hazards or is larger than 11,250 sf or the extinguisher’s placement requires more than 75’ of travel to access, additional or different extinguishers may be required.

Does my business need a Knox box?  If your building is equipped with a fire sprinkler system or monitored fire alarm system, a Knox box is required.  Please contact WSFR if you are installing a Knox box for further information.

Can you train my employees in the proper use of fire extinguishers?  Indeed.  Your business must provide the extinguishers.  Contact the on-duty Battalion Chief to schedule training at 970-686-2626.

General Life Safety Questions

What Fireworks are legal?   As a general rule, fireworks that leave the ground or explode are illegal in the State of Colorado.  All fireworks that are not part of a professional display permitted by WSFR are illegal in the towns of Windsor and Severance.

How does WSFR keep our community safe? 

  • Engineering: Our communities have adopted codes and standards that provide for sound design, and in many cases, require fire protection systems when new buildings are constructed or the use in an existing business changes. These standards are verified in plan review processes, oftentimes when a business is still being planned.  The design is validated usually at multiple times during construction through inspection.
  • Education: WSFR offers a variety of Life Safety Education programs designed for specific audiences in the interest of injury prevention and community safety.  Oftentimes, these programs are designed to improve awareness of risk and offer tips on managing these risks. Please contact us for more information if you are interested in us providing these educational services to your community group, regardless of size.
  • Enforcement: Enforcement is aimed towards identifying deficiencies in engineered systems, operational risk, and human factors that reduce the safety of building occupants and the community.  WSFR’s goal is to assist businesses with hazard detection and promote voluntary compliance through education and cooperation.  We accomplish this by inspecting all businesses at least every three years and some businesses annually.   The frequency of these inspections is determined by the life safety risk of the occupancy.
  • Injury prevention: WSFR provides child and infant car seat installation and bike helmet fitting.  Please contact the on-duty Lieutenant by calling 970-686-2626 to schedule these services.

Special Events

Does WSFR require a permit for haunted houses?  Yes, see our Haunted House policy and permit here.

Does WSFR require a permit for tents at special events?  For tents, canopies and membrane structures of certain size, yes.  See our policy and permit for these structures here.