The New Canaan Fire Marshal’s Office is located in the basement of Town Hall. Personnel include a full-time Fire Marshal, and two part-time employees (Deputy Fire Marshal, and Fire Inspector). The Connecticut Department of Public Safety, which also has a continuing education requirement, certifies all members of the professional staff. Each member brings expertise from varied backgrounds including incident command, high level hazardous material training, interdepartmental and agency networking from local to national levels, and fire safety from the perspective of industry, including code writing.
The Fire Marshal’s Office duties are outlined in Chapter 541 of the Connecticut General Statutes. The Fire Marshal’s Office is responsible for the annual inspection of all existing buildings, except one- and two- family dwellings, for compliance with the Connecticut State Fire Safety Code. The office also reviews plans for new construction and renovations, and performs inspections during construction.
The Fire Marshal's Office documents the removal of oil tanks. Removal of tanks at private residences involves filling out a Registration form,(see form), but commercial installations must consult with the Fire Marshal and Building Inspector on more detailed requirements.
Other situations which come under the responsibility of the Fire Marshal’s Office include:
1. Responding to hazardous material spills and cleanups
2. Inspecting and enforcing regulations on LP Gas installations
3. Investigating the cause and origin of all fires in town
4. Issuing blasting permits and monitoring blasting operations
5. Enforcing safety regulations for community fireworks displays
6. Monitoring certain private events to insure that safety guidelines are observed
The Fire Marshal’s Office, in conjunction with the New Canaan Fire Company, provides nursery and elementary schools with fire prevention programs during "Fire Prevention Month" in October. Requests for these visits have increased due to greater awareness of fire safety at a young age. "Stop, Drop & Roll", "Don’t Play with Matches", "Crawl Low Under Smoke" as well as seeing a fully-equipped firefighter and a fire engine are included in the program. For older students the need for having a home escape plan and the importance of testing installed smoke detectors is discussed. Information on home escape plans, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and fire extinguisher operation is available from the Fire Marshal's Office.
Main Telephone: 203-594-3030
Monday - Friday 8:30am - 4:30pm
Fred Baker, Fire Marshal
Jill Stayman, Administrative Assistant
77 Main St, 1st Floor
New Canaan, CT 06840
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get a burning permit?
Call the Fire Department at 594-3140.
How far is it to my house from the fire department or from the closest hydrant?
The best and only answer is to hop in your car and measure the distance.
I am building a house, what is your process for plan review?
The Fire Marshal does not need to review plans for one- and two-family houses. This question should be directed to the Town Building Department at 594-3012.
I am thinking about replacing my oil tank. What do I need to do?
It is a good idea to replace old in-ground tanks since they have a service life that sees many of them living on borrowed time. You can call any of the State-licensed spill contractors or tank removal contractors. The Fire Marshal's Office has a list, or you can call your oil company. Once you have selected a contractor, a no-cost permit is required from the Fire Marshal's Office. You can download the form, fill out and bring in, mail, or fax to us. When the work has been completed, a soil test for contamination must be done and copies distributed as outlined on the Registration form.
I am in the design stage for a new commercial building. Are there any special fire-safety-related items which I should consider?
We welcome the opportunity to speak with you and your design professional. We suggest that you bring your preliminary drawings to a preplan submittal consultation. Call our office at 594-3030 to make an appointment.
Are records for the removal of oil tanks on file at the Fire Marshal's Office?
The Fire Marshal houses the records of the removal or abandonment of oil tanks. The information and copies of the records are available to you.
How many smoke detectors should I have in my home?
At a minimum there should be one detector on each level of the home excluding the attic. If there is a basement the detector should be on the ceiling of the basement. Detectors should be located to protect your primary escape route. Additional smoke detectors are recommended inside of each sleeping room.
How often should I replace the batteries in my smoke detectors?
Batteries in single station smoke detectors should be replaced at least annually or as often and recommended by the manufacturer. It is strongly suggested that this be done on a regular basis, such as New Years Day, to avoid the annoying “chirp” of the dead battery signal that invariably occurs when you are sleeping.
I have an alarm system – how do I change the batteries in these detectors?
There are no batteries in the detectors. There is a system battery inside the alarm panel. This should be changed by a trained alarm technician when the system is serviced. These system batteries usually will last about 5 years.
How often should I have my alarm system serviced?
Alarm systems should be cleaned and serviced at least annually. This will help to ensure that all devices are working properly and help avoid false alarms.
I don’t have a fire extinguisher. How many should I get?
It is recommended that you have one extinguisher in each “hazard area” such as the kitchen, garage, basement, etc. Make sure you read and understand how and when to use them. ALWAYS sound the alarm and call the Fire Department before attempting to extinguish a fire. Never let the fire block your exit.
I have an old extinguisher that the gauge says is good. Is it still OK?
Home extinguishers generally should last about 5 years. Even if the gauge says it is OK the powder my have “caked” into a solid inside. After 5 years you should dispose of it and replace them with new.
I have fire safety questions about my home. Is there someone that can visit and help me with fire safety issues?
Call 594-3030 and one of the staff will be happy to come to your home to assist with fire safety planning, smoke detector placement, fire extinguisher use, flammable storage questions, etc.
Is there a charge for this service?
There is no charge and there are no “citations”. This is purely informational assistance.
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