Frequently Asked Questions

Fire Department

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Why does a fire truck show up when I call for EMS?

In the case of life-threatening emergency, we will dispatch a fire truck along with an EMS unit to provide extra assistance since all of our personnel are EMTs and trained to provide Basic Life Support. In some situations an ambulance may be coming from a greater distance and a fire truck can start patient care.

When do I need to change my smoke detector batteries?

As of January 1 2015, a new Florida Statute regarding smoke detectors has been set in place. This new directive is aimed at saving more lives by eliminating the need to change smoke detector batteries multiple times throughout the year. New smoke detectors now required by law will have a 10 year battery life. See below for the full Statute;

One-family, two-family dwellings and townhomes undergoing a repair, or a Level 1 alteration, as defined in the Florida Building Code, may use smoke alarms powered by 10-year nonremovable, nonreplaceable batteries in lieu of retrofitting such dwelling with smoke alarms powered by the dwelling’s electrical system. Effective January 1, 2015, a battery-powered smoke alarm that is newly installed or replaces an existing battery-powered smoke alarm must be powered by a nonremovable, nonreplaceable battery that powers the alarm for at least 10 years. The battery requirements of this section do not apply to a fire alarm, smoke detector, smoke alarm, or ancillary component that is electronically connected as a part of a centrally monitored or supervised alarm system. Florida Statute 553.883

For further questions please contact the DeFuniak Springs Fire Department at (850) 892-8515

What can I legally burn and when is open burning allowed?

The following categories identify open burning allowed by state rules. 

Note: Although state rules may allow for open burning, counties and municipalities may prohibit these types of open burning. Please check with your local government to inquire about local ordinances or bans prior to open burning.


Recreational Purposes

Recreational open burning of vegetative debris and untreated wood in a campfire, ceremonial bonfire, outdoor fireplace, or other contained outdoor heating or cooking device is allowed pursuant to subsections 62-256.700(10) and 5I-2.006(11), F.A.C., as long as the fire is attended at all times and completely extinguished before leaving the premises unattended. No authorization is required from Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) or Florida Forest Service (FFS) for recreational open burning.


Residential Yard Waste

Open burning of “yard waste” (defined as leaves, shrub trimmings, grass clippings, palm fronds, and brush) on residential premises of not more than two family units is allowed, provided that the below requirements in subsection 62-256.700(1), F.A.C., are met:

  1. The yard waste must have been generated on the same premise as where it’s being open burned.
  2. The open burning must occur between the hours of 8:00 AM CST (9:00 AM EST) to one hour before sunset.
  3. The open burning must be enclosed in a noncombustible container or be in a pile no greater than eight feet in diameter.
  4. The location of the open burn must be set back at least 150 feet from any occupied building other than that of the landowner, 50 feet from any paved public roadway, and 25 feet from any wildlands, brush, or combustible structure.
  5. The open burning must be attended with fire extinguishing equipment ready at all times.
  6. Authorization from FFS is not required for burning of residential yard waste; however, it is recommended that you still contact FFS regarding burn conditions for the day(s) you plan to open burn. 


Materials Prohibited from Burning 


Biological waste

Materials with asbestos


Rubber material

Used oil

Roofing material

Treated wood


Hazardous waste

Devices with mercury


Residual oil






For more information please read, Florida Forest Service Burning Information, or contact the Florida Forest Service (Bay, Calhoun, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Walton, and Washington Counties) (850)373-1801.

What is your response time?

Our average response time within City limits is five minutes.

What is the DeFuniak Springs Fire Department ISO classification Rating?

The DeFuniak Springs Fire Department ISO rating is 5/5x. Which means if you are within 5 miles of the fire station and within 1000 feet of a fire hydrant, your rating would be a 5. If you aren't within 1000 feet of a fire hydrant your rating would be 5x, which is equal to a 9. Properties over 5 road miles from a recognized fire station would receive a class 10.