Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What type of smoke detector should I have in my home?
There are two types of alarms - ionization and photoelectric. They operate on different principles and therefore may respond differently to various conditions.

Some advantages to each type are set out below:


Fastest type to respond to flaming fires
Lowest cost and most commonly sold
Some models have a hush or temporary silence feature that allows silencing without removing the battery
Some models are available with a long life battery


Fastest type to respond to slow smoldering fires and white or grey smoke
Less prone to nuisance alarms from cooking

Photoelectric smoke alarms may respond slightly faster to smoldering fires, while ionization alarms respond slightly faster to flaming fires. Since you can't predict the type of fire that will occur, it is difficult to recommend which is best. Both alarms will detect all types of fires that commonly occur in the home, and several manufactures make a "dual sensor" model, combining the technology of both models into one device. Installing both types of smoke alarms, or a combination unit, in your home can enhance fire safety, and increase your chance of survival by up to 50%.

  Q.  Are tours of the Fire Department available?
  A. Noblesville Fire Department personnel provide fire safety presentations and fire station tours. To schedule a presentation and/or tour, please call Captain Trevor Hash at 317-776-6336 x1413 at least 2 weeks prior to your anticipated presentation/tour date.
  Q.  How can I get a Knox Box?
  A. Fire departments across the country use the Knox System to prevent costly forced entry damage while protecting property and lives. Knox key boxes, vaults and cabinets hold building entrance keys, electronic access cards and vital emergency information. Knox key switches and padlocks provide fire department access through property gates. As the property owner, you purchase a Knox Box device, then mount it near your building entrance or property gate, firefighters use a unique high security Knox Master key to open Knox Box devices in their jurisdiction. To obtain an order form or for more information, please contact our Inspections Division at (317) 776-6336.
  Q.  Are there any special teams at NFD?
  A. NFD currently has 3 special teams within the department.  The Hazardous Materials Team is trained to respond to all types of hazardous materials spills and leaks, and works closely with the Hamilton County Hazardous Materials Team.  The Dive Team performs dive rescue in Morse Reservoir and numerous ponds and lakes around Noblesville.  The Tactical Rescue Team is currently trained to perform rope rescue, tower rescue, swiftwater rescue and heavy machinery extrication.  They will soon add confined space rescue, trench rescue, and structural collapse rescue to their duties, and is working with the Hamilton County Technical Rescue Team.
  Q.  Will NFD refill my fire extinguisher?
  A. The Noblesville Fire Department does not fill or check fire extinguishers. Please consult the Yellow Pages under "Fire Extinguishers" for a company capable of providing this service.
  Q.  What type of fire extinguisher is best for my home?
  A. A multi-purpose fire extinguisher is best for the home. This extinguisher can be used on any type of fire commonly found in the home. It will often be labeled A-B-C.
  Q.  Who do I contact if my child is playing with fire?
  A. Unfortunately some children will show an interest in fire and fire setting. Because this is a serious issue that can have severe consequences that children might not realize, we encourage parents to become involved as soon as possible. Contact Division Chief Rick Russell at 317-776-6336 x1413 to schedule a private meeting with you and your child.

Division Chief Russell is trained in identifying at-risk children and fire education and prevention. If you know of a child who shows an interest in starting fires and/or playing with fire, please contact the Fire Department. Early intervention is extremely important and may save loss of life and property from a fire started by a child playing with fire.

  Q.  Does NFD give out smoke detectors?
  A. The Noblesville Fire Department provides free smoke detectors for low to moderate income households or households with a handicapped member. Call us at 317-776-6336 during normal business hours for more information.
  Q.  Will NFD fill swimming pools?
  A. The water contained in the tanks of our fire engines and pulled from fire hydrants may contain dirt and other particles, and is therefore inappropriate for filling swimming pools.
  Q.  Does NFD install/inspect child car seats?
  A. The Noblesville Fire Department no longer conducts car seat inspections/installations. We are happy to refer you to the Noblesville Police Department; they have several certified officers able to assist you. Please call their administrative offices at 317-776-6340 to schedule an appointment.
  Q.  Are landlords required by law to furnish smoke detectors in their buildings?
  A. Yes. Noblesville City Ordinance 1657-A, Section VI: Duty of the Property Owner, Manager or Rental Agent states that: Every owner or the manager or rental agent of such owner of any family dwelling unit shall be responsible for the installation and maintenance of required smoke detectors. It is the responsibility of the tenant to maintain, in good working order, any battery powered smoke detector provided by the Owner to include replacement batteries as needed. The maintenance of any smoke detector connected to the building wiring system shall be the responsibility of the owner, manager or rental agent of such property.
  Q.  Why do I see fire trucks at the grocery store?
  A. Because the firefighters work a 24-hour shift, they eat and sleep at the fire station. The firefighters pay for all of their own food, and sometimes bring food from home. Occasionally they need to go to the store, but they are still on duty. They do not have the freedom to go anywhere alone because they are in constant emergency response mode, and must stay together with their team and their apparatus -- ready to move out at a moment's notice. If you pay close attention, you'll notice that they are carrying emergency pagers and radios. Sometimes they get a call and have to leave their items as they quickly move out toward the emergency.
  Q.  How many smoke detectors do I need in my home?
  A. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), minimum protection requires a smoke detector outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement. On floors without bedrooms, detectors should be installed in or near living areas such as dens, living rooms, or family room.

Be sure everyone sleeping in your home can hear your smoke detectors' alarms even with bedroom doors closed. If not, or if any residents are hearing- impaired, install additional detectors inside bedrooms. For the hearing impaired, there are smoke detectors that flash a strobe light in addition to sounding an audible alarm.
For extra protection, NFPA suggests installing additional detectors in dining rooms, furnace rooms, utility rooms, and hallways. Smoke detectors are not recommended for kitchens, bathrooms, or garages - where cooking fumes, steam, or attics and other unheated spaces - where humidity and temperature changes might affect a detector's operation.
  Q.  How often should I change the batteries in my smoke detectors?
  A. If your detector is powered solely by the AC current in your house, there is no battery to change. However, if your detector is battery powered or has a battery backup power source, it is recommended you change it annually. Pick a birthday or memorable day, such as New Year's Day to ensure you remember this change.
  Q.  Where can I get child / handicapped locator window decal?
  A. In the interest of community safety, the Fire Department does NOT recommend that "child" or "invalid" locator decals be placed on exterior home windows for a variety of reasons.

* First, the average family moves often - on average about once every five years. Each time a house changes hands, room use can also change. Even a single family will switch rooms with time, making the decal meaningless.
* Even within a short time period, children sleep in rooms other than their own, leave their room when frightened, or spend the night away and, therefore, will often not be in the room marked with a decal.
* Most importantly, a decal can also be an invitation to a burglar - or worse - to enter through that window because the occupant of that room would present less of a threat.

Keep in mind that rescuing people is a priority for all firefighters. They are trained to make a thorough and systematic search for anyone inside a burning building as soon as they arrive. Spending valuable time looking for windows marked with decals, with no assurance anyone would be in that room, could delay help to anyone still left inside.

Firefighters could also be subject to additional risks in entering a building at a marked window rather than following standard search and rescue procedures.

The most effective way to protect yourself and your family in the event of a fire in your house is to:

  • Be sure your smoke detectors are working properly.
  • Prepare and practice a family fire escape plan.
  • Inform your local dispatch center that there is someone with special needs in the home PRIOR to a fire/emergency response situation.
  • Consider installing residential fire sprinklers or making certain your next home has them already installed; they're like having your own firefighter on duty in your home 24 hours every day!

Of course, preventing a fire from occurring in the first place is the best way to save lives.
Firefighters work a 24-hour shift. We eat, sleep and work out of our fire station. We shop for, purchase and cook all of our own meals. All daily maintenance on fire department vehicles is performed at the fire stations. We are involved in educational programs in the schools and to the public. We perform fire inspections at businesses around town and track every hydrant in Noblesville, making sure that they will work when we need it to. We also attend weekly training to help maintain and continuously improve our skills.
 Do I need a permit to burn in the City of Noblesville?

The Open Burning Ordinance does allow an exemption for fires used for recreational or cooking purposes (not disposal).  However, this document requires prior approval of the fire department for all exempted fires.  In order to comply with the requirement of this legislation, the City of Noblesville Fire Department has instituted a no-cost permitting process for open burning.  This process allows us to explain the rules to the property owners, as well as comply with the Ordinance.


There are two types of permits:  The Standard Open Burn Permit and the Annual Open Burn Permit.


The Standard Open Burn Permit is designed for residents who burn occasionally (two or three times a year) for recreational or cooking purposes.  This group can stop at any City of Noblesville Fire Station, fill out a permit, and burn on the day in which the permit is valid.
The Annual Open Burn Permit targets the homeowners who burn more often.  The issuance of an Annual Permit requires a permanent burn site and an inspection by the fire department.  After this permit is issued, the homeowner is free to burn anytime, as long as any conditions of the permit and the City Ordinance are followed.  This permit simply needs to be renewed annually.
 Do I need a permit to burn in the Township of Noblesville?

Noblesville Township (326 Indiana Administrative Code 4-1-3)

             *Open burning is prohibited. (326 IAC 4-1-2)



1.      Recreational, ceremonial, & camp fires

(The fire department must be notified at least 24 hours prior to any burn  ONLY where the size of the pile is more than 125 (5 X 5 X 5) cubic feet).

  • If at any time the fire creates a pollution problem, a threat to public health, a nuisance, or a fire hazard, it shall be extinguished.
  • Fires must be attended at ALL times and until completely extinguished.
  • No burning shall be conducted during unfavorable meteorological conditions. (High winds, Air stagnation, Ozone action days, etc.)
  • Adequate firefighting equipment shall be on-site for extinguishing purposes.
  • ONLY clean wood products, paper, & charcoal can be burned.
  • 2003 IFC 307. 3.2: Unless in a burn pit, minimum distance from a structure is 25'


2.      Private Residential buildings, containing FEWER than 4 units, can burn in accordance with the following conditions:

  • The First Five above referenced bullet points must be followed.
  • Burning shall be in a noncombustible container that is sufficiently vented and has enclosed sides and a bottom.
  • Burning shall be conducted during daylight hours only and all fires shall be extinguished prior to sunset.
  • 2003 IFC 307.3:  Fires in an approved container must not be less than 15 ft. from a structure.
Should you want more information or have a question that has not been answered by the information above, please send your request to:

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135 S 9th St
Noblesville, IN 46060

  • Business: (317) 776-6336
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