Fire Prevention, Safety & Education

The responsibilities of Fire Prevention are administered by the Fire Safety Division in the Building & Life Safety Department.  Fire and Life Safety plan reviews are performed by members of the Fire Safety Division. Inspections are performed by full time fire safety inspectors under the supervision of the Fire Safety Supervisor.  Our goal is to decrease the number and severity of all fires and hazards for the community. We believe that this can be accomplished through an active fire code enforcement program, fire safety plan reviews and cooperation from the community. We strive to provide these services utilizing well trained and highly motivated personnel who understand the importance of customer service and fire safety.

If you have questions and would like to speak with someone regarding fire prevention you may call 847.368.5594 or you may send an email to firesafety@vah.comWe are committed to maintain a safe Arlington Heights for all residents, businesses and their patrons and the entire community. 

CPR Classes

The September 28th, 2020 CPR class is cancelled due to COVID-19 Restrictions.

We invite you to register for our CPR class and learn to save a life!  Our Heartsaver CPR course for the lay responder teaches recognition and emergency resuscitation techniques for adult heart attack and stroke; injury and cardiac arrest prevention; treatment of cardiac emergencies in adults and infants - this course does not cover cardiac emergencies in children; and choking in adults and infants - this course does not cover choking in children.

A course completion card from the American Heart Association will be issued to participants who have successfully completed the CPR course objectives and practical testing.

Our CPR classes are scheduled from 6 to 9:30 p.m. at the Arlington Heights Fire Department Administration Building located at 1150 N. Arlington Heights Road in the Training room on the 2nd floor on the following 2020 dates:

  • January 20
  • March 2
  • May 4
  • July 6
  • September 28 - cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions
  • November 9 - cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions

The cost is $20 per Arlington Heights resident and $50 per person for non-residents. Fee includes textbook and CPR card. Due to scheduling of personnel and classroom, registration fees are non-refundable.  In the event a class is cancelled due to low enrollment, you will receive a full refund.  Please fill out our CPR Registration Form if interested in attending. 

All instructors are certified through the American Heart Association.  Class size is limited to 18 students with a minimum age of 16 years old in order to participate. 

To arrange a group CPR class at your site, please contact Lt. Mark Aleckson at 847.368.5460.

Fire Academy

Class 3 in September has been cancelled due to COVID-19 Restrictions.

In 1973 the Fire Department opened the Arlington Heights Fire Academy. Over 2,700 area firefighters have received their basic firefighter training at the Arlington Heights Training Academy.

Fire departments throughout northern Illinois and Indiana can send their firefighters to the Academy for training. Although the basic firefighter training is not currently being offered, the Academy does offer training in Fire Apparatus Engineer (FAE). This is a six-day class, Monday through Wednesday each week, from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM at Fire Station 3. The State Practical test is given on the sixth day. Tuition cost is $525.00 per student. Below are FAE class dates for 2020:

  • Class 1: April 6, 7, 8 and 13, 14, 15
  • Class 2: May 4, 5, 6 and 11, 12, 13
  • Class 3: September 21, 22, 23 and 28, 29, 30 | September classes have been cancelled due to COVID-19 Restrictions.

Please complete the Academy Registration Form to enroll in the class. If you have questions, please contact Division Chief Dwayne Wood at 847.368.5458 for assistance.

Fire Safety Classes

The Arlington Heights Fire Department is committed to educating residents to help insure their safety. Our public education program encompasses all aspects of total life safety and includes:

  • School fire drills
  • Smoke detectors
  • Stop, Drop and Roll
  • Brownie troop fire safety
  • Babysitting
  • Readyman badges
  • High-rise fire safety
  • Fire safety for the elderly
  • E.D.I.T.H. (Exit Drill in the Home)
  • Tornado awareness and drills
  • Fire extinguisher training for businesses
  • Fire safety for people with disabilities
  • Fire station educational tours
  • Emergency equipment displays
  • Evacuation for businesses
  • Block parties

To schedule a class, contact the Fire Department's Public Education Officer, Lt. Mark Aleckson, at 847.368.5460.

Outdoor Fireplace Guidelines

The Arlington Heights Environmental Commission shares the following guidelines for outdoor fireplace use. They are presented in the interest of public safety, environmental protection, and as a courtesy to our neighbors. Questions can be directed to the Health & Human Services Department at 847.368.5760. 

  • No open burning is allowed. Only pre-fabricated units, intended for outdoor fires may be used.
  • Outdoor fires should use gas or clean, seasoned firewood. Rubbish, refuse, and yard waste must not be burned.
  • Fires should be of a reasonable size and must not be closer than 15 feet from any structure.
  • Fires must be managed in such a way that smoke and particulates are minimized, so as not to be a danger or detriment to a neighbor’s health, safety, comfort, or welfare.
  • Fires should always be attended by a responsible adult.
  • Water or a portable fire extinguisher should be in close proximity.
  • Fires should be extinguished when complete and should not be allowed to smolder or generate smoke.
  • Fires must be extinguished if requested by Village Officials.
  • Do not use fireplaces when wind velocity is high, so particulates and smoke do not become objectionable to adjoining properties.
  • Please refrain from having an outdoor fire on air pollution action days or on one in which the air quality index is above 100. 
Propane & Charcoal Grills

There’s nothing like outdoor grilling. It’s one of the most popular ways to cook food...but, a grill placed too close to anything that can burn is a fire hazard. They can be very hot, causing burn injuries. July is the peak month for grill fires, and nearly half of the injuries involving grills are thermal burns.  Follow these simple tips and you will be on the way to safe grilling!

Safety Tips...

  • Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.
  • The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  • Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grill area.
  • Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
  • Never leave your grill unattended.
  • Always make sure your gas grill lid is open before lighting it.

Propane Grills...
Check the gas tank hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year. Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose. A propane leak will release bubbles. If your grill has a gas leak, by smell or the soapy bubble test, and there is no flame, turn off both the gas tank and the grill. If the leak stops, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again. If the leak does not stop, call the fire department.

If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not move the grill.

If the flame goes out, turn the grill and gas off and wait at least 5 minutes before re-lighting it.

Charcoal Grills...

  • There are several ways to get the charcoal ready to use. Charcoal chimney starters allow you to start the charcoal using newspaper as a fuel.
  • If you use a starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire.
  • Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources.
  • There are also electric charcoal starters, which do not use fire. Be sure to use an extension cord for outdoor use.
  • When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.
Safety Tips & Checklists

Planning and prevention are the keys to fire safety. Protect yourself and your family by taking simple precautions...

  • Every household should develop a fire escape plan which includes two different ways out of each room, especially bedrooms. Everyone in the house should know where to meet outside after escaping from a fire.
  • Keep matches, lighters, etc. up high where children can't see or reach them. Keep anything that can burn such as books, paper and clothing at least three feet away from space heaters. Keep children away from portable heaters and space heaters.
  • Never leave cooking unattended and don't let pot handles stick out over the edge of the stove where they can be bumped or grabbed. Turn them in, pointing toward the back of the stove, to prevent spilling hot liquids.
  • Never put anything into a microwave unless you are absolutely sure it is safe. Paper, glass, and microwave-proof earthenware are safe. In many cases, metals are not. Read and follow the instructions on all packaged microwave meals. Keep children away from the microwave. Be careful when removing covers from microwave containers; escaping steam can cause severe burns. Cool all foods sufficiently before serving them to children.

Be sure to view the Preventing Falls at Home and Babysitter's checklists...valuable tools to have on hand for family needs.

Learn more with these FEMA Fire Safety resources:


Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Smoke Detectors
Over 4,000 people die every year in residential fires in the United States. Most fatal home fires occur between 8:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. while residents are asleep. A smoke detector buys valuable time. As soon as it senses smoke, an alarm automatically sounds, allowing residents a chance to get out before toxic fumes accumulate to lethal levels.

Smoke detectors should be installed on each level of the house, in all bedrooms, and in hallways close to sleeping areas.  Never place a smoke detector on an un-insulated wall or ceiling. Remember to...

  • Test your smoke detector at least once a month by pressing the test button.
  • Replace worn batteries immediately or at least once a year.
  • Never borrow smoke detector batteries for other uses.
  • Replace smoke detectors every 10 years, or as directed by the manufacturer.
  • Dust and vacuum detectors at least twice a year
    Make sure detectors are working when you return home after an extended absence.

When purchasing a smoke detector, the determining factor should be quality, not price. Make sure the detector has a laboratory label (UL) (FM) and an alarm loud enough to awaken a sleeping family. The detector should also have a malfunction signal for low batteries.

Smoke detectors save lives by giving occupants an early warning of toxic smoke. They are inexpensive, easy to purchase, and easy to install and maintain. Don't let yourself or your loved ones be without this early warning life saver.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless, tasteless and nonirritating gas that is a natural by-product of combustion when fuel-burning appliances are operating. These appliances can include gas furnaces, gas water heaters, fireplaces, wood-burning stoves, gas ranges or ovens, gas dryers, kerosene heaters, charcoal/gas grills, lawn mowers, snow blowers, and chain saws. A crack in the flue system, blocked chimney, appliance malfunction or car left running in an attached garage are some of the ways CO can leak indoors, making residents sick. Exposure to lower levels of CO over several hours can be just as dangerous as exposure to higher levels for a few minutes. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can mimic the flu and include headache, fatigue, sleepiness, nausea, trouble breathing, diarrhea and dizziness. Those most at risk are children, the elderly, pregnant women and people with lung or heart disease. Early detection of carbon monoxide is possible with a UL listed carbon monoxide detector placed on every level of the home. If the detector goes off, call 9-1-1, leave the house, and wait for help in a well-ventilated area.  For further information, view our Carbon Monoxide Safety brochure.  

Space Heaters

Portable Space Heater Fire Regulations
Despite the fact that electric space heaters do not have an open flame, according to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), space heaters, whether portable or stationary, accounted for one third (30%) of the home heating fires and three-fourths (73%) of home heating fire deaths in 2006. Space heaters (portable and stationary) were involved in an estimated 64,100 U.S. home structure fires, 540 civilian deaths, 1,400 civilian injuries, and $9.4 million in direct property damage. Much of the injury and damage was caused by the heating elements used in some types of electric heaters, which are hot enough to ignite nearby combustibles such as draperies, paper, clothing, furniture, and flammable liquids. 

Safety Tips
Look for a heater that is listed with a nationally-recognized testing laboratory (such as Underwriters Laboratories or UL). These heaters are tested to meet specific safety standards, and manufacturers are required to provide important use and care information to the consumer. Unlisted heaters are not permitted as consumers have less assurance that safety features and operating instructions are adequate. 

Portable electric heaters that heat by circulating oil or water are preferred. Older style heaters with exposed radiant wires are not recommended. 

All portable space heaters shall be equipped with tip over protection. Tip over protection will turn off the heater automatically when the heater is tipped over and not in the full upright position. 

Before using the heater, read and follow the instructions for its operation and maintenance.  Please review these safety tips before using your space heater.

Never run the heater’s cord (or any cord) under rugs, carpeting or furniture. 

Plug portable heaters directly into a wall outlet. Do not plug a space heater into a surge protector, multi-outlet box or extension cord. The high current flow can cause components to deteriorate, leading to a breakdown of solder joints eventual failure of the multi-box outlet, and excessive heating that can cause fire. 

Do not leave the heater operating unattended or operating while sleeping. Portable electric air heaters are designed for use only as temporary supplemental heating and only while attended. 

To prevent electrical shocks and electrocutions, always keep portable electric heaters away from water. And never touch an electric heater if you are wet. 

Keep the heater in a safe working condition in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Replace missing guards, controls or frayed wiring at once. Never operate a defective heater. 

Do not place the heater where children might play near it or where people might trip over or bump into it. 

Place the heater on a level surface for stability. 

And finally, periodically check surrounding objects to see if they feel hot.