Fire

Fire Department

Spotlight Firefighter
Tim Speckel

(click photo for bio)

Station Locations

Centennial Fire Station
209 Atlas Ave
Buffalo, MN 55313

Downtown Fire Station
211 Central Ave
Buffalo, MN 55313

Volunteer Opportunities
History
History

The Buffalo Fire Department has been in service for over one hundred years.  The Buffalo Fire Department is a volunteer department that covers 58 sq. miles in Wright County. We have 35 members that are FF2 certified and are First Responder’s or EMT’s

The fire department has two stations in the City of Buffalo.   Station One is located down town and Centennial Station is located in the industrial park on the east side of the city.

Burning Permits and Burning Ban Information

If you have a pile of brush and you live out of the city limits of Buffalo, you would need a burning permit to burn it.  In the City of Buffalo, you cannot burn brush.  The city offers a compost area for you to bring your brush, leaves, and grass clippings.  If you live in the surrounding townships, you may obtain a burning permit from one of the fire wardens in the area or the Minnesota DNR.  Be sure to follow the rules and regulations of that permit.  You are responsible for that burning permit.  Violation of the permit may lead to a citation.

Online Permits through Minnesota DNR

Check for Current Burning Restrictions

Key Box Program

Contact City Hall at 763-682-1181 for information and the order form for the Dama Lock Box.

Recreational Fires & Fire Pits

The Fire Chief has provided guidance on rules for recreational fires and fire pits.  All recreational fires are governed by the Minnesota DNR as established by Minnesota Statutes and the Minnesota State Fire Code.  The following are the rules, restrictions and guidelines concerning recreational fires.

State Fire Marshal Fact Sheet – Recreational Fires and Outdoor Fireplaces

Location – Portable fire pits should be 15 ft from a structure or anything combustible.  25 ft for permanent fire pits that burn wood and 15 ft for permanent natural gas or propane fire pits.  If you put in a simple fire pit with a rock border please remember to have a 5 ft diameter around the pit that is clear of dead grass or leaves.  Never use a portable fire pit on or near a wood deck.

Size – Size of recreational fires may not exceed 3 ft diameter and 2 ft in height and must be contained in an approved manner such as a portable barbecue pit, fire pit, or fire ring.

Fuels – Yard waste, waste matter, rubber, plastics, construction debris, trash, wood with paint, plywood, demolition material or flammable liquids shall not be used for fuel.

Fire extinguishing equipment – Buckets, shovels, garden hoses or a fire extinguisher with a minimum 4-A rating shall be readily available for use at recreational fires.

Attendance – An attendant shall supervise a recreational fire until such fire has been extinguished.  Fires found to be unattended will be extinguished by the fire department.

Discontinuance – Fire department personnel are authorized to require that recreational fires be immediately discontinued if it is determined that a hazardous condition exists.

US Fire Administration
Additional Links
Informational Sites

www.firehouse.com  -Magazine on the web that has information on Fire departments from around the USA.

www.carbon-monoxide-poisoning.com  –This is an informational web site on carbon-monoxide poisoning, the cause and affects as well as symptoms of co poisoning

www.dnr.state.mn.us  –State of Minnesota’s web site for information on fire bans and other related areas for outdoor activities

www.erc.state.mn.us  –State of Minnesota’s web site for Emergency Response created for Minnesota in the post 9/11 world.

www.dps.state.mn.us  –Minnesota’s Department of Public Safety web site, with links to all public safety related web site in the state.

www.nws.noaa.gov  –This is the Official web site of the National Weather Service. It has weather radar, watch and warning boxes and satellites maps for local and national weather.

www.msfda.org  –This web site was formed by the Minnesota State Fire Department Association for Firefighters by Firefighters

www.usfa.fema.gov/kids/  –This web site was designed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency with kids in mind. It is an interactive web site with games for kids to play and information on fire prevention for kids and adults a like.

www.usfa.fema.gov  –This the official web site of the Federal Emergency Management Agency

Mission Statement

Our mission is to save lives and protect property in and around the Buffalo fire district to the best of our ability by public education, fire fighter training, and proper equipment.

2021 Annual Report
New Downtown Fire Station

The groundbreaking for the new downtown fire station occurred in early May 2020 and site work is underway.

We will be posting weekly pictures above so check back often to see how the new Fire Station is progressing.

New Fire Station Presentation – March 2019

New Fire Station Construction Drone Video

Fire EMERGENCY – Dial 911

Fire Chief

Fire Training

Fire Prevention In the Home

(click on galleries to enlarge)

Grain Bin Rescue Equipment

Children & Grandchildren

One-fourth of all fire-deaths of children are from fires started by children. 

  • Keep lighters and matches out of the reach of children.
  • Never leave children unattended with fire or space heaters.
  • Children are naturally curious about fire, so keep an eye on them. But if a child repeatedly plays with fire or seems to have a morbid fascination with fire, seek professional help at once.
  • If youngsters live with you or stay overnight occasionally, be sure that they know how to escape from every room and are part of your emergency exit plan.
Clothes Dryer

Under some circumstances, dangerous heat can build up in a dryer. 

  • Never leave home with the clothes dryer running.
  • Dryers must be vented to the outside, not into a wall or attic.
  • Clean the lint screen frequently to keep the airway clear.
  • Never put in synthetic fabrics, plastic, rubber, or foam because they retain heat.
Electrical Hazards

Electricity, the silent servant, can become a silent assassin. 

  • It is better not to use extension cords. If you feel you must use one, make sure that it is not frayed or worn. Do not run it under a rug or twist it around a nail or hook.
  • Never overload a socket. In particular, the use of “octopus” outlets, outlet extensions that accommodate several plugs, is strongly discouraged.
  • Do not use light bulb wattage which is too high for the fixture. Look for the label inside each fixture which tells the maximum wattage.
  • Check periodically for loose wall receptacles, loose wires, or loose lighting fixtures. Sparking means that you’ve waited too long.
  • Allow air space around the TV to prevent overheating. The same applies to plug-in radios and stereo sets, and to powerful lamps.
  • If a circuit breaker trips or a fuse blows frequently, immediately cut down on the number of appliances on that line.
  • Be sure all electrical equipment bears the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) label.
  • In many older homes, the capacity of the wiring system has not kept pace with today’s modern appliances. Overloaded electrical systems invite fire. Watch for these overload signals: dimming lights when an appliance goes on, a shrinking TV picture, slow heating appliances, or fuses blowing frequently. Call a qualified electrician to get expert help.
Fireplace

Remember, you’re deliberately bringing fire into your home; respect it. 

  • Use a fireplace screen to prevent sparks from flying.
  • Don’t store newspapers, kindling, or matches near the fireplace or have an exposed rug or wooden floor right in front of the fireplace.
  • Have your chimney inspected by a professional prior to the start of every heating season and cleaned to remove combustible creosote build-up if necessary.
  • Install a chimney spark arrester to prevent roof fires.
  • When lighting a gas fireplace, strike your match first, then turn on the gas.
Fire Extinguishers

They remain your best bet if you’re on the spot when a fire begins. 

  • Fire extinguishers should be mounted in the kitchen, garage, and workshop.
  • Purchase an ABC type extinguisher for extinguishing all types of fires.
  • Learn how to use your fire extinguisher before there is an emergency.
  • Remember, use an extinguisher on small fires only. If there is a large fire, get out immediately and call 911 from another location.
Basic types of fire extinguishers
  • Class A fires are ordinary materials like burning paper, lumber, cardboard, plastics, etc.
  • Class B fires involve flammable or combustible liquids such as gasoline, kerosene, and common organic solvents.
  • Class C fires involve energized electrical equipment, such as appliances, switches, panel boxes, power tools, hot plates and stirrers.  Water is a particularly dangerous extinguishing medium for class C fires because of the risk of electrical shock.
  • Class D fires involve combustible metals, such as magnesium, titanium, potassium and sodium as well as pyrophoric organometallic reagents such as alkyllithiums, Grignards and diethylzinc.  These materials burn at high temperatures and will react violently with water, air, and/or other chemicals.
  • Some fires may be a combination of these!  Your fire extinguishers should have ABC ratings on them.  These ratings will often have numbers on them that look something like “3-A:40-B:C”.  Higher numbers mean more firefighting power.

Water Extinguishers are suitable for class A fires, but not for class B, C, and D such as burning liquids, electrical fires or reactive metal fires.  In these cases, the flames will be spread or the hazard made greater.

Dry Chemical Extinguishers are useful for class ABC fires and are your best all around choice.  They have an advantage over CO2 extinguishers in that they leave a blanket of nonflammable material on the extinguished material which reduces the likelihood of re-ignition.  They also make a terrible mess, but if the choice is a fire or a mess, take the mess!  There are two kinds of dry chemical extinguishers:

  1. Type BC fire extinguishers contain sodium or potassium bicarbonate.
  2. Type ABC fire extinguishers contain ammonium phosphate.

CO2 (carbon dioxide) extinguishers are for class B and C fires.  They don’t work very well on class A fires because the material usually reignites.  CO2 extinguishers have an advantage over dry chemical in that they leave behind no harmful residue — a good choice for an electrical fire on a computer or other delicate instrument.  CO2 extinguishers are not approved for class D fires!

Metal/Sand Extinguishers are for flammable metals (class D fires) and work by simply smothering the fire. You should have an approved class D unit if you are working with flammable metals.

Using Fire Extinguishers

You are not required to fight a fire. Ever. If you have the slightest doubt about your control of the situation DO NOT FIGHT THE FIRE.

1. Use a mental checklist to make a Fight-or-Flight Decision. Attempt to use an extinguisher only if ALL of the following apply: 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 


IF ANY OF THESE CONDITIONS HAVE NOT BEEN MET, DON’T FIGHT THE FIRE YOURSELF. CALL FOR HELP, PULL THE FIRE ALARM AND LEAVE THE AREA.

  • Whenever possible, use the “Buddy System” to have someone back you up when using a fire extinguisher. If you have any doubt about your personal safety, or if you can not extinguish a fire, leave immediately and close off the area (close the doors, but DO NOT lock them). Leave the building but contact a firefighter to relay whatever information you have about the fire.
  • Pull the pin on the fire extinguisher.
  • Stand several feet from the fire, depress the handle and sweep back and forth towards the fire. Note:
    • Do not walk on an area that you have “extinguished” in case the fire reignites or the extinguisher runs out! Remember: you usually can’t expect more than 10 full seconds of extinguishing power on a typical unit and this could be significantly less if the extinguisher was not properly maintained or partially discharged.
    • The metal parts of CO2 extinguishers tend to get dangerously cold — practice using one beforehand or have someone show you the proper way to hold one.
    • Again, proper training is usually required by state or federal OSHA!
  • Direct the extinguisher at the base of the flames until the fire is completely out.
  • Recharge any discharged extinguisher immediately after use. If you discharge an extinguisher (even just a tiny bit) or pull the pin for any reason, call your corporate Fire Marshal’s office to arrange a replacement.
Fire Safety

In 1999, according to the National Fire Protection Association, 3,570 Americans were killed and another 21,875 were injured as a result of fire. Direct property loss due to fires was estimated at $10 billion. Fire killed more Americans than all natural disasters combined. 82% of all fire deaths occurred in residences. With these startling statistics in mind, below are some safety tips for you:

Fire Safety Tips for Older Adults

Protect yourself, prevention is the best way to keep your home safe from fire.

Be Kitchen Wise: Never leave cooking unattended. Wear clothes with tight fitting sleeve when you cook. Always set a kitchen timer to remind you to turn off the burners and oven. Keep stove surfaces free of clutter and built-up of grease.

Be Smoker Wary: Use large, deep, not tipping ashtrays. Empty ashtrays often, wetting the contents before dumping into the trash. Never smoke in bed of while drinking alcohol or while you are on medication that could make you drowsy or disorientated.

Give Space Heaters Space: Keep electric portable space heaters at least 3-feet from everything—including you! Just brushing against one could set your clothing on fire.

Install Smoke Detectors: Be sure to have smoke detectors outside all sleeping areas and on every level of your home, including the basement. Test your detector monthly, and change your batteries once a year. If you sleep in a room with the doors closed, install a smoke detector inside the room as well. If you are hearing impaired, use a tested and approved smoke detector that triggers a strobe light.

Furnace/Space Heaters

Used improperly, a space heater can be the most dangerous appliance in your house. 

  • Install and maintain heating equipment correctly. Have your furnace inspected by a professional prior to the start of every heating season .
  • Don’t store newspapers, rags, or other combustible materials near a furnace, hot water heater, space heater, etc.
  • Don’t leave space heaters operating when you’re not in the room.
  • Keep space heaters at least three feet away from anything that might burn, including the wall.
  • Don’t use extension cords with electrical space heaters. The high amount of current they require could melt the cord and start a fire.
  • When lighting a gas space heater, strike your match first, then turn on the gas.
  • Never use a gas range as a substitute for a furnace or space heater.
Gasoline & Other Flammable Liquids

Those cans aren’t painted red just for the fun of it! 

  • Flammable liquids should be stored only in approved safety containers, and the containers should be kept outside the house and garage in a separate storage shed.
  • Gas up lawn equipment and snowthrowers outside, away from enclosed areas and any source of sparks or heat.
  • Start the equipment 10 feet from where you filled it with fuel.
  • Don’t fill a hot lawn mower, snowthrower, or other motor; let it cool first.
  • Never clean floors or do other general cleaning with gasoline or flammable liquids.
Kitchen

Careless cooking is the number one cause of residential fires. Never leave cooking unattended. 

  • It’s wise to have a fire extinguisher near the kitchen. Keep it 10 feet away from the stove on the exit side of the kitchen.
  • Never pour water on a grease fire; turn off the stove and cover the pan with a lid, or close the oven door.
  • Keep pot handles on the stove pointing to the back, and always watch young children in the kitchen.
  • Don’t store items on the stove top, as they could catch fire.
  • Keep kitchen appliances clean and in good condition, and turn them off and disconnect them when not in use.
  • Don’t overload kitchen electrical outlets and don’t use appliances with frayed or cracked wires.
  • Wear tight-fitting clothing when you cook. Here’s why: An electrical coil on the stove reaches a temperature of 800 degrees. A gas flame goes over 1,000 degrees. Your dish towel or pot holder can catch fire at 400 degrees. So can your bathrobe, apron, or loose sleeve.
  • Be sure your stove is not located under a window in which curtains are hanging.
  • Clean the exhaust hood and duct over the stove regularly. and wipe up spilled grease as soon as the surface of the stove is cool.
  • Operate your microwave only when there is food in it.
Safety Tips for Grilling

Grilling Safety Fact Sheet

State Fire Marshal Fact Sheet – Barbecues and Open Flames on Balconies and Patios

SEC. 10.23. FIRES OR BARBECUES ON BALCONIES OR PATIOS.

Subd. 1. Unlawful Acts.

A. In any structure containing three or more dwelling units, it is unlawful for any person to kindle, maintain or cause any fire or open flame on any balcony above ground level, or on any ground floor patio within fifteen (15) feet of any structure.

B. It is unlawful for any person to store or use any fuel, barbecue, torch or other similar heating or lighting chemicals or devices in the locations designated in Subparagraph A.

Subd. 2. Exceptions.

A. Electric grills or gas fired barbecue grills which are permanently mounted, wired or plumbed to the building’s gas supply or electrical system and maintained in the minimum clearance of eighteen (18) inches on all sides and may be installed on balconies and patios when approved by the Fire Chief.

B. Completely non-combustible construction as addressed in the UBC.

Source: Ordinance No. 41, Series III Effective Date: 2-7-92

Smoking

If you actually believe that you’re immune from cancer, heart disease, emphysema, and other ills, at least worry about burning to death.

  • Never smoke in bed.
  • Don’t smoke when you are drinking or are abnormally tired.
  • Use large, deep ashtrays, and empty them frequently.
  • Never dump an ashtray into the trash without wetting the butts and ashes first.
Smoke Detectors

Smoke is responsible for three out of four deaths.

  • Install smoke detectors on every level of your home and outside of sleeping areas.
  • Test every detector at least once a month. [See your instruction book for the location of the test button.]
  • Keep smoke detectors dust free. Replace batteries with new ones at least once a year, or sooner if the detector makes a chirping sound.
  • If you have a smoke detector directly wired into your electrical system, be sure that the little signal light is blinking periodically. This tells you that the alarm is active.
  • Inexpensive smoke detectors are available for the hearing impaired.
Thinking Ahead: Your Exit Plan

As with other things, the best motto is, “Be Prepared.” 

  • Prepare a floor plan of your home showing at least two ways out of each room.
  • Sleep with your bedroom door closed. In the event of fire, it helps to hold back heat and smoke. But if a door feels hot, do not open it; escape through another door or window.
  • Easy-to-use window escape ladders are available through many catalogues and outlet stores. For instance, First Alert sells one for around $90.
  • Agree on a fixed location out-of-doors where family members are to gather for a head count. Stay together away from the fire. Call 911 from another location. Make certain that no one goes back inside the burning building.
  • Check corridors and stairways to make sure they are free of obstructions and combustibles.
  • To help cut down on the need for an emergency exit in the first place, clear all unnecessary items from the attic, basement, garage, and closets.
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