Frequently Asked Questions

Here you may find an answer to a question you have regarding the Fire Department, and some of the Local and State ordinances which effect all our citizens. If you have a question that you feel should be answered here... Please call the Fire Prevention Bureau at 973-680-4153

Table Of Content

(Click a question to view the the answer.)

  1. How do I become a member of the Bloomfield Fire Department?
  2. Do I need a Carbon Monoxide Detector and if our Carbon Monoxide Detector sounds, will the Fire Department respond?
  3. What type of Smoke Detectors are required in my home, and where should they be located?
  4. I'm a Senior Citizen, will the Fire Dept assist me in installing a smoke detector?
  5. What is a Certificate of Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector Compliance and do I need one?
  6. What is a Certificate of Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector Compliance and do I need one?
  7. Can I use my Propane Barbecue Grill on my terrace or balcony?
  8. I've locked myself out of residence, will the Fire Dept assist me to gain access?
  9. I have room in my basement to create an apartment, is this legal?
  10. I changed from Oil heat to Gas Heat. Do I need to remove the old oil tank or when I purchased my home, they said the old Oil
  11. Does the Fire Dept actually rescue cats that are stuck in a tree?
  12. My basement has flooded, is help available?
  13. I hear sirens and air horns from my home and they seem very loud, is it necessary to always use them all hours of the day &
  14. 14. How do I dispose of my old Fire Extinguishers or Propane Tanks?
  15. My Homeowners Insurance Company needs to know the distance from my home to the nearest Fire Hydrant and Fire Station.

 

Becoming a member

The Bloomfield Fire Department's paid force is governed by the rules and regulations of the New Jersey Department of Personnel. A state test is given every 2 years in which you are scored and ranked. The Township then receives a a list of eligible candidates, and when a vacancy occurs, a position is then offered to the person or persons on the top of the list. More information regarding the testing process can be found on the New Jersey Department of Personnel's website which is www.state.nj.us/personnel .

To apply for a position with the volunteer force click here to receive more information.

Carbon Monoxide

Yes.. New Jersey State Law requires that each home have a Carbon Monoxide detector. Carbon Monoxide Detectors shall be installed OUTSIDE of the sleeping area. The Fire Department has specialized equipment to test the air for Carbon Monoxide. A sounding detector could mean that there is a high concentrate of Carbon Monoxide in your home. Carbon Monoxide is called the "Silent Killer" because it can reduce the amount of oxygen we breathe and since Carbon Monoxide has no smell, we have no idea when you have a leak..

Smoke Detectors

It depends on the type of residence you live in. One and two family homes, built prior to 1990, can use battery-operated smoke detectors. All other homes, 3 family and above, are required to have hard wired smoke detectors, either 120 volt or 24 volt. All new homes built after 1990 should have hard wired smoke detectors in them.

Smoke Detectors are designed to provide an early warning to a fire. Smoke detectors should be located in Common Areas (i.e. Stairways and basements) and inside sleeping rooms and there should definitely be one just outside of all of the sleeping rooms.

Smoke Detector Batteries

When a battery starts to run low on power, the smoke detector will chirp intermittently to alert you to change your battery. BUT, you should not wait until it chirps to change the battery. Batteries last about 1 year in a smoke detector before they start to lose power. A good rule of thumb is to change your batteries when you change your clocks. That will have you changing your batteries at least twice a year enabling your smoke detector to have a good battery in it at all times.

Installation of smoke detectors for Seniors

Not only will we install a smoke detector for the seniors and needy, but if they live in a one and two family house, and can’t afford a smoke detector, we will provide one for you for free. Unfortunately, you must live in a one or two family house. New Jersey State Law requires that landlords provide smoke detectors to tenants in homes 3 families or larger, therefore we are unable to provide those people with free smoke detectors.

Certificate of Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector Compliance

Bloomfield Township Code requires that all people who sell their homes must get a Continuing Certificate of Occupancy from the Building Department. This certificate will suffice for the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector Compliance. Should your bank insist on a separate certificate, the Fire Prevention Bureau will issue the separate certificate (there is a $35.00 charge so see if they will accept the one certificate. New Jersey State Law allows for the use of one certificate).

Open Burning

NO!! It is a violation of the New Jersey Uniform Fire Code to burn openly. This includes leaves, branches, lumber, paper and cardboard. Absolutely no open burning of any kind is allowed.

Grills

Propane grills are prohibited from being used on terraces. The reason is that the Propane Gas, not the fire, presents a danger to the home.
The New Jersey Uniform Fire Code and the National Fire Protection Association recommend that Propane appliances are the safest when used a minimum of 5 feet away from a building.

Lock outs

As a "Service Oriented" department, we will endeavor to assist you in gaining entrance to your home if you are locked out. Some new doors and/or locks make it impossible for us to gain entry without doing damage to a door or window. But should you find yourself in this situation, call us and will will do our best to assist you.

Basement Apartments

Most basement apartments are illegal, especially in 3 family houses, because they do not meet the egress requirements of the building code.
If you have a basement apartment or are considering building one, please check with the Building Inspector in Town Hall for information on requirements and compliance with the Building Code.

 Oil Tanks

If an oil tank is not used anymore, an owner has one (1) year to have it removed or abandoned in place. A Fire Sub-Code permit from the Building Department is required. If an oil tank was removed, and a permit was obtained from the Building Department to remove it, the documentation is available in the Fire Department and/or the Building Department. Just give us a call at the Fire Prevention and we will check it out for you.

 

Cats In Trees

As much as we love  little animals, we will attempt to help you but, we cannot risk a firefighter’s safety in doing so. We will endeavor to help you but most cats come down the same way they get up. Also Remember the old saying….."There has never been a skeleton of a cat found in a tree, therefore they must come down on their own".

Flooded Basements

The Fire Department does assist residents when local flooding occurs. However, we may not be able to 'pump out' all of the accumulated water. Generally speaking, the pumps available to the department and the town, are used only when there is more then 10 inches of standing water. The pumps will only pump down to approximatly the 6 inch level.

Warning!! A flooded basement has two main safety concerns. Should the water level reach any electrical outlets or the electrical panel. The entire basement could be electrically charged and power should be disconnected before stepping into the water. Additionally, if you have gas heat and/or hot water, the gas main should also be shut down as to prevent natural gas leaking into your home. Only PSE&G should re-light your heating unit or your hot water heater.

Click here to see advice from N.I.O.S.H on flood cleanup safety precautions

Use of Horns & Sirens

While no one desires to create unnecessary 'noise' and disturb the public's rest, the use of sirens and air horns are necessary and in fact required by law to alert drivers and pedestrians of the presence of emergency vehicles responding to an incident. In today's world with drivers using air conditioning, cell phones, and loud car stereos, many drivers have a difficult time hearing and responding to oncoming emergency vehicles. While every effort is made to limit the use of sirens and air horns at night and early morning hours, their use can not be eliminated completely.

Propane Tanks/Fire Extinguishers
The Fire Department does not collect or dispose of old propane tanks or fire extinguishers. They can be disposed of through the Essex County Hazardous Waste Facility. The facility usually schedules one day in the spring when you can bring certain hazardous materials that need disposal to their facility. Their phone number is 973-857-2350

Hydrant Location

Many Homeowner Insurance Companies frequently ask how far your house is from a Fire House and a Fire Hydrant. Every structure in Bloomfield is located within 200 feet of a fire hydrant and within 1 mile of a fire station

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