Fire Permit Information
- Fire Permits are always required for any open fire in Portsmouth
- Permits to burn brush are issued to individual property owners on a daily basis, weather permitting
- Seasonal Permits are available for individual property owners with chimneys or commercial fire pits not exceeding 24" in diameter.
- Due to the congestion of the South End, permits are not issued in that area
- Permit Fees are $10.00 and permits are available at any Fire Station
- Burning of sawn lumber, construction debris or leaves is prohibited at all times
- Commercial entities wishing to burn must contact Fire Prevention for assistance at 603-610-7350
Fire Safety and Prevention
The mission of the Fire Prevention Bureau is to reduce risks to life and property from fire and other hazards. This is performed through educational programs to inform residents about preventative actions which they can take to eliminate or reduce the causes of fire, inspection and enforcement of applicable fire prevention codes, and life safety plans review.
With the goal of instilling fire safety practices at an early age, the Fire Prevention Bureau routinely conducts educational programs throughout the City's elementary schools and kindergartens as well as hosting tours of the fire stations. Industrial fire safety classes are provided to business and commercial operations upon request.
The Fire Prevention Bureau performs annual and other required life safety inspections of places of assembly, schools, day care facilities, and other locations throughout the city.
Tasked with origin and cause investigations for fires that occur within the city, the Fire Prevention Bureau works in conjunction with the Office of the State Fire Marshal to determine how and why the incidents occurred and work towards reducing or preventing their recurrence.
Bureau of Fire Prevention
The Bureau of Fire Prevention is committed to the reduction of loss of life and the destruction of property from fire through providing fire safety education, code adoption and enforcement, property surveys, and investigation of fires. Programs available through the Bureau include residential and commercial safety inspections, fire extinguisher and safety classes, and fire station tours.
10 Fire Safety Tips
Install and Maintain Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Smoke alarms warn you of fire in time to let you escape. Install them on each level of your home (including basements), in every bedroom, and outside of each sleeping area. Install Carbon monoxide alarms on each level of your home (including basements), outside of each sleeping area, and in any bedroom that contains a fuel burning appliance.
Follow the manufacturer's directions, and test once a week. Replace standard batteries twice a year, or when the detector chirps to signal that the battery power is low. Don't ever take the battery out for other uses! UL listed combination smoke/carbon monoxide detectors can also be used.
It is required in rental properties and substantially renovated existing single family homes (recommended in all properties) that these life saving devices receive their primary power from the buildings wiring (hardwired), contain battery back-up, and be interconnected so that when any smoke alarm or carbon monoxide detector activates, all of them within the home will sound a warning.
Plan and Practice Your Escape
If fire breaks out in your home, you must get out fast. With your family, plan two ways out of every room. Fire escape routes must not include elevators, which might take you right to the fire! Choose a meeting place outside where everyone should gather. Once you are out, stay out! Have the whole family practice the escape plan at least twice a year.
Space Heaters Need Space
Keep portable space heaters at least 3 feet (1 meter) from paper, curtains, furniture, clothing, bedding, or anything else that can burn. Never leave heaters on when you leave home or go to bed, and keep children and pets well away from them.
Be Careful Cooking
Keep cooking areas clear of combustibles, and don't leave cooking unattended. Keep your pot's handles turned inward so children won't knock or pull them over the edge of the stove. If grease catches fire, carefully slide a lid over the pan to smother the flames, then, turn off the burner.
A Match is a Tool for Adults
In the hands of a child, matches or lighters are extremely dangerous. Store them up high where kids can't reach them, preferably in a locked cabinet. And teach your children from the start that matches and lighters are tools for adults, not toys for kids. If children find matches, they should leave them where they are and tell an adult immediately.
Use Electricity Safely
If an appliance smokes or begins to smell unusual, unplug it immediately and have it repaired. Check all your electrical cords, and replace any that are cracked or frayed. If you have use extension cords, replace any that are cracked or frayed; and don't overload them or run them under rugs. Extension cords should only be for temporary use and should be unplugged when not in use. Remember that fuses and circuit breakers protect you from fire: don't tamper with the fuse box or use fuses of an improper size
Cool a Burn
If someone gets burned, immediately place the wound in cool water for 10 to 15 minutes to ease the pain. Do not use butter on a burn, as this could prolong the heat and further damage the skin. If burn blisters or chars, see a doctor immediately.
STOP, DROP, AND ROLL
Everyone should know this rule: if your clothes catch fire, don't run! Stop where you are, drop to the ground, and roll over and over to smother the flames. Cover your face with your hands to protect your face and lungs.
Crawl Low Under Smoke
If you encounter smoke using your primary exit, use your alternate route instead. If you must exit through smoke, clean air will be several inches off the floor. Get down on your hands and knees, and crawl to the nearest safe exit.
Practice Candle Safety
The popularity of candles as home decorations in recent years, has resulted in an increase of candle related fires. Some safe tips include: Never leave a lit candle unattended in any room of the house; never leave candles burning when you go to bed; and never use candles near combustible materials such as curtains, drapes, bedding and cabinets.
By planning ahead you can do a lot to prevent a fire. But, once a fire starts in your home there are only three things to do:
1. get everyone out of the house.
2. close the door behind you.
3. call 9-1-1 from a neighbor's home.
**Don't go back into a burning building, no matter what.
**If you think someone is trapped inside, tell the firefighters when they arrive.