Q: What brand of smoke
detector should I buy?
A: The Cedarburg Fire Dept does
not recommend any particular brand of detector. However any
product that you purchase should have the Underwriters
Laboratory (UL) listing. UL is a third-party independent testing
Q: When should I change in the batteries in my
A: Always follow the manufacturer’s
instructions. If no instructing exist, we recommend changing the
batteries twice a year, preferably when you reset your clocks
for daylight savings time.
Q: What about hard-wired
A: New or recently installed hard-wired
detectors (tied into the house’s electrical system) should have
a battery back-up system and the batteries should be replaced
twice a year also or according to the manufacturer’s
recommendations. Older hard-wired systems may not have a battery
back –up system.
Q: How should I maintain my detector?
A: Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. If no
instructions exist, you should use a vacuum or similar appliance
to vacuum out the slotted area of the detector in order to
remove dust or other particulates that may cause false alarms at
least twice a year. Testing should also be performed on a
monthly basis by pressing the “Test” button on the detector.
Q: How do I know if the battery is dead in my detector?
A: Testing monthly should tell you. Also, most detectors
will give off a small “chirp” when the battery is getting low.
If you have any doubt, change the battery.
Cedarburg Fire Dept provide batteries?
A: Yes. Batteries
are available during Safety Day in October and throughout the
year. For more information, see the News Graphic for
advertisements or contact the CFD Fire Inspection Office at
Q: How many detectors do I need in my home?
A: We recommend
- At least one on every floor including the basement, plus
- One in every bedroom
Q: How should smoke detectors be installed?
A: If on
the ceiling (preferred), then at least 4 inches from the wall.
If on the wall, then at least 4-12 inches from the ceiling.
- Do not place ceiling detectors in low air circulation
areas or directly above ceiling fans
- Do not place detectors need air vents
- Do not place kitchen detectors above or near the stove
Q: How many Carbon Monoxide (CO) detectors do I need?
A: You must install 1 detector on every floor and within 15 feet
of all sleeping areas. Do not install CO detectors near
furnaces, water heaters or gas stoves. Also, do not place
detectors in garages or bathrooms.
Q: Should CO Detectors
be placed on the ceiling?
A: If the manufacturer
recommends it, then yes. However, CO detectors can be placed
almost anywhere along a wall or ceiling because unlike smoke, CO
rises very little in the air.
Q: When should I replace my
CO and/or Smoke detectors?
A: Follow the manufacturer’s
recommendations otherwise SMOKE detectors should be replaced
every 10 years and CO detectors every 2 years. Detectors become
less reliable with age. Any painted or damaged detectors should
be replaced immediately. Also, any detector exposed to grease,
fire or water should be replaced.
Q: Does the Cedarburg
Fire Dept install detectors?
A: No, however you may
contact the Fire Inspection Office (262-375-7632) if you would
like a Firefighter/Inspector to perform a courtesy safety check
of your home.
Q: What brand of extinguisher should I buy?
Cedarburg Fire Dept does not recommend any particular brand of
extinguisher. However any product that you purchase should have
the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) listing. UL is a third-party
independent testing agency.
Q: What type of should I buy?
A: The most universal is an ABC dry-chemical extinguisher.
This extinguisher can be used on all common fires found within
the home. We recommend either a 5 or 10 pound model.
How many extinguishers should I have?
A: You should have
at least 1 near the kitchen and garage, as fires often start in
these locations. Beyond that, 1 per floor would be ideal.
Q: Where should the extinguishers be mounted?
Mount it near an exit and away from anything that has a risk of
starting a fire and keeping you from reaching the extinguisher.
Always using the bracket provided. Extinguishers should always
be mounted to prevent accidental discharge and ensure that it is
not routinely moved out of place. Extinguishers should be
mounted no greater than 5 feet above the floor.
should I extinguish the fire myself?
A: You should use a
portable extinguisher only when ALL of the following exist:
- The fire is confined to a small area
- Everyone has exited the home
- The fire department has been/is being called
- The room is not filled with smoke
- You have a clear exit behind you
- You are comfortable using it
Q: How should I use the extinguisher?
A: We recommend
the P.A.S.S. method
P-Pull the pin
A-Aim at the base of the fire
S-Squeeze the trigger or handle
S-Sweep the discharge stream back and forth
until the fire is out
Q: Can I re-use an extinguisher that is
only partially discharged?
A: NO. You must replace or
have the extinguisher recharged. Most extinguishers below 10
pounds are one-time-use only. You can pay to have a larger
extinguisher recharged at Beyer’s True Value or look in the
yellow pages. CFD does not recharge extinguishers however you
can call the Fire Inspection Office (262-375-7632) if you are
unsure what to do with old or discharged extinguishers.
Q: When should I replace an extinguisher?
A: Follow the
manufacturer’s recommendation. If you are unsure, you can check
the pressure gauge. If the needle has fallen out of the green
zone, it should be replaces/recharged. Regardless of what the
gauge reads, non-rechargeable extinguishers should be replaced
every 12 years and rechargeable extinguishers replaced every 6
years. Regardless of type, dry-chemical extinguishers should be
inverted at least once a year and shaken to loosen the powder
and prevent caking.
Q: How should I dispose of an
A: Contact your municipality or waste
disposal company. CFD may accept old extinguishers for training
purposes. For more info contact the Fire Inspection Office
Q: What is an escape ladder?
A: Escape ladders are
portable telescoping ladders that hang from a window sill by
hooks and extend to the ground. They range from 15-50 feet (2-6
stories) in length.
Q: Should I buy an escape ladder?
A: We take no position on advising the purchase of escape
ladders. If you do purchase a ladder, make sure everyone knows
how to use it and it is accessible during an emergency.
Q: If I buy an escape ladder, what should I look for?
One of the most important things to look for are the presence of
standoffs. Standoffs are protrusions that keep the rungs of the
ladder away from the house in order to steady the ladder to ease
Fireplaces and Chimneys
Q: What can I burn in my fireplace?
A: Unless the
manufacturer provides otherwise, you should only burn untreated
and unpainted clean wood or commercially manufactured fire logs.
Burning other materials could be extremely dangerous.
How often should my chimney be inspected and cleaned?
Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. Otherwise, chimneys
should be cleaned and inspected annually by a professional
chimney sweep certified by the National Chimney Sweep Guild or
Chimney Safety Institute of America.
Q: Should I have a
cap or cover over my chimney?
A: Yes. Always use a
spark-arresting cap. Caps prevent sparks and embers from
igniting nearby combustibles and keep animals and out.
Q: Can I openly burn in
A: Yes, however there are some restrictions.
you are planning to burn in the City of Cedarburg see:
You must also notify the Cedarburg Fire Dept 262-375-7630
and the Cedarburg Police Dept 262-375-7620
- Name of the responsible party and your name if different
- Address of the burn
- Phone # of the person(s) monitoring the fire
- Date and time of burning
If you live or are planning to burn in the Town of Cedarburg
If you plan to burn, you
must notify the Cedarburg Fire Dept 262-375-7630
Cedarburg Police Dept 262-375-7620
and the Ozaukee Sheriff’s
Q: Do I need a permit to burn?
If your question is not listed above feel free to call the
Cedarburg Fire Department’s Fire Inspection Office at