Frequently asked questions

We get asked lots of questions, so we’ve tried to put the most common ones and their answers in our FAQ’s below. You can scroll down our frequently asked questions, or use the search to find what you’re looking for!

 

Communities

Most community rooms have a kitchenette with cold water, kettle and cups available, we will let you know about this when you book.

The on-duty firefighters may be able to provide tea, coffee, milk, sugar and squash. There would be a charge for this.

Please let us know your requirements when you book, and we will check availability. You are welcome to bring your own ingredients, and we ask that all items are taken with you at the end of your booking.

We do not provide hot or cold food; however, you are welcome to bring your own food or order a buffet to be delivered. We ask that all food is cleared away and unused items taken with you at the end of your booking.

Alcohol cannot be bought onto or consumed on any fire service premises. Smoking is not permitted in any fire service buildings; however, outside smoking shelters are provided.

 

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If we have the capacity the fire service may attend events such as fete’s, carnivals, fun days, to promote our community safety message.

Please contact your local Operations Administration Team to check for station availability, the numbers, depending on where the event is located, are below:

Birmingham

0121 380 7510
BhamOps.admin@wmfs.net

Coventry and Solihull

0121 380 7520
coventry.admin@wmfs.net

Black Country

0121 380 7530
BlackCountryOps.Admin@wmfs.net

Attendance is always subject to emergency calls, which must take priority.

 

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Our education priority is to deliver our safety presentation, SPARKS to every Key Stage 2, Year 4 class in the West Midlands.

SPARKS are our priority, however, if we have the capacity we can deliver a package called “People Who Help Us”. This package is age appropriate and delivered by on-duty firefighters.

Please contact your local Operations Administration Team to check availability.

Birmingham

0121 380 7510
BhamOps.admin@wmfs.net

Coventry and Solihull

0121 380 7520
coventry.admin@wmfs.net

Black Country

0121 380 7530
BlackCountryOps.Admin@wmfs.net

Attendance is always subject to emergency calls, which must take priority.

 

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We do not provide services to commercial companies or the public for filling ponds, pools, lakes or other areas. Because our resources are limited, we have to prioritise emergency incidents.

There are exceptional circumstances where we will aid agencies such as the Environment Agency in emergency situations that affect wildlife or the environment, but these are rare and at the discretion of the service, typically they would incur a ‘special service call’ charge.

 

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We do have community rooms available for hire at some of our stations, with priority given to community groups, voluntary organisations, statutory partners and partner agencies who contribute to our key partnership objective of ‘Building Healthier, Safer and Stronger Communities’.

Charges are at the discretion of the Station Commander with this being approximately £50 for a half day and £100 for a full day.

For details of community room availability and how to book, please contact the admin team for the area the station is in:

Birmingham

0121 380 7510
BhamOps.admin@wmfs.net

Coventry and Solihull

0121 380 7520
coventry.admin@wmfs.net

Black Country

0121 380 7530
BlackCountryOps.Admin@wmfs.net

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The key focus for our crews is building healthier, safer and stronger communities through response, prevention and protection. Unfortunately, we do not have the capacity to attend private parties. However, we wish you every success with your celebrations!

If you do want to hire a fire engine for your celebrations, there may be other options available privately. Try searching ‘fire engine hire’ in your preferred search engine

 

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The fire service is committed to emergency response and community safety; therefore, we do not always have the capacity to support charitable events other than our support for The Firefighters charity.

For other charity events, our support is entirely discretionary, the Station Commander for that area has the final say, taking into account other station and emergency activities. If you wish your charity event to be considered for fire service attendance, please contact your local station for details. This can be done via our fire stations page.

Please be aware that if we are able to assist you, a share of the profits we help generate, normally 51% will be donated to the “Firefighters charity”.

Unfortunately, we are unable to donate prizes to charitable causes and are also unable to provide a fire engine to escort charitable runners and walkers.

 

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Contact

If we have the capacity the fire service may attend events such as fete’s, carnivals, fun days, to promote our community safety message.

Please contact your local Operations Administration Team to check for station availability, the numbers, depending on where the event is located, are below:

Birmingham

0121 380 7510
BhamOps.admin@wmfs.net

Coventry and Solihull

0121 380 7520
coventry.admin@wmfs.net

Black Country

0121 380 7530
BlackCountryOps.Admin@wmfs.net

Attendance is always subject to emergency calls, which must take priority.

 

Did you find this FAQ helpful?
0
0

Our education priority is to deliver our safety presentation, SPARKS to every Key Stage 2, Year 4 class in the West Midlands.

SPARKS are our priority, however, if we have the capacity we can deliver a package called “People Who Help Us”. This package is age appropriate and delivered by on-duty firefighters.

Please contact your local Operations Administration Team to check availability.

Birmingham

0121 380 7510
BhamOps.admin@wmfs.net

Coventry and Solihull

0121 380 7520
coventry.admin@wmfs.net

Black Country

0121 380 7530
BlackCountryOps.Admin@wmfs.net

Attendance is always subject to emergency calls, which must take priority.

 

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0
0

We do have community rooms available for hire at some of our stations, with priority given to community groups, voluntary organisations, statutory partners and partner agencies who contribute to our key partnership objective of ‘Building Healthier, Safer and Stronger Communities’.

Charges are at the discretion of the Station Commander with this being approximately £50 for a half day and £100 for a full day.

For details of community room availability and how to book, please contact the admin team for the area the station is in:

Birmingham

0121 380 7510
BhamOps.admin@wmfs.net

Coventry and Solihull

0121 380 7520
coventry.admin@wmfs.net

Black Country

0121 380 7530
BlackCountryOps.Admin@wmfs.net

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If a water hydrant is leaking or appears broken, you need to let us know.

We are responsible for hydrants around the West Midlands. Although Severn Trent do have the ability to deal with them in emergencies, usually they will not get involved unless we are unable to attend for some reason.

To report a hydrant problem to us, please complete this short form:

If we need to get in touch with you for more information can we do this?
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For further information about how your information is used and how we maintain the security of your information including your rights to access your information then please see our privacy policy.

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Emergencies

If you need to report a fire it’s VERY important that you dial 999 immediately.

Even if for some reason you don’t feel like it’s an emergency or not worth our time, trust us, it is!

Always dial 999 when there is a fire, no matter how small.

For more details about reporting emergencies to us, please see our emergencies page.

 

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We don’t usually attend cats up trees. Most of the time they aren’t stuck, they could be scared or just enjoying the view!

If you are concerned about a cat up a tree, here are some simple tips to try first.

  • Try and coax it down – try gently calling or showing them treats, they might be tempted!
  • If coaxing doesn’t work, we’d recommend putting down some food or treats and leaving the area for a short time, so the cat can come down by itself
  • Use toys or a laser pointer – cats are known to love chasing things, try using some of their favourite toys or a laser pointer to tease the cat down
  • If none of the above works, put down the treats or food and then leave the cat for a minimum of 24 hours, if it wants to, it’ll come down by itself in this time.

If after 24 hours nothing has worked, call the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999. They will be able to give you further advice and if necessary, can send an officer to help you. The fire service will NOT attend cats up trees unless the RSPCA officer is there and they request our assistance formally through our control room.

 

 

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If you can smell burning, particularly if you don’t know what’s causing it, it’s vital you dial 999 immediately.

Just because you can see it, doesn’t mean it won’t get out of control. Even if for some reason you don’t feel like it’s an emergency or not worth our time, trust us, it is!

Always dial 999 when there a smell of burning, or a fire, no matter how small.

For more details about reporting emergencies to us, please see our emergencies page.

 

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Whilst we can assist with animal rescues, often the best people to speak to are the RSCPA.

If an animal or pet is trapped or stranded in a way that could put it’s life at risk (such as stranded in water, or trapped between wires, fences or buildings) then call us on 999 first. Our skilled operators will be able to assess the situation and give you the best advice.

If it involves pets or animals who are in no danger, such as cats up trees, you should always contact the RSPCA first. We do not attend unless they are at the scene and they require our assistance.

If in doubt, and it’s not urgent, contact us on our non-emergency number 0845 5000 900 for advice.

 

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Fire Safety

If you need to speak to a Fire Safety Officer or have one visit, regarding business premises you are responsible for this can be arranged.

Please contact our Fire Safety team on 0121 380 7500, or email firesafety.admin@wmfs.net to arrange a visit or a phone call. You should be aware, due to the number of requests for assistance we receive, unless the request is urgent we may not be able to attend immediately.

For any urgent fire safety matters that are a genuine immediate risk to life, please dial 999 and ask for the fire service – an immediate risk to life would be a situation whereby a lack of fire safety would result in serious injury or death imminently if no action is taken.

 

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For alarms that are hard-wired into a building (wired into the electricity) we, unfortunately, cannot offer advice or guidance as every system is different. If there are faults or issues with your alarm system and it is part of the property, you should consult either an electrician or alarm engineer. If the property is rented, the landlord or responsible company for the property should be contacted for guidance first.

 

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Whilst we wouldn’t directly assist with a fire risk assessment for your business premises, there is government provided advice which you should follow to be legally compliant.

This government advice for businesses is freely available to all and should aid you in ensuring your business or premises is compliant with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. The above government advice breaks down the different assessment documents required, depending on the type of premises, you should ensure you choose the correct one for your premises or business.

We do offer training courses which are available to those responsible for carrying out Fire Risk Assessments for their premises, the details of these courses can be found in our training section.

 

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Fly tipping and nuisance rubbish, although it is often a fire risk, it the responsibility of the local council to remove. The fire service has no powers or jurisdiction to stop or control rubbish dumping or fly tipping.

Here are the links directly to the areas on the relevant council’s website to report fly tipping and rubbish removal directly.

Birmingham City Council
Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council
Walsall Council
Dudley Council
Wolverhampton Council
Sandwell Council
Coventry Council

 

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We have strict guidelines and guidelines on licensing for fireworks, as they can be very dangerous.

This government page gives general guidance on the manufacture and storage of fireworks, as well as laws around when they can be sold.

If you still wish to apply to our service for a license, please see our explosives licensing page for details on who can apply, how to do this and the costs involved.

 

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If you have concerns about fire safety at a premise you have visited, stayed at, or observed you can report it to us.

If the matter involves a genuine immediate risk to life, please dial 999 and ask for the fire service – an immediate risk to life would be a situation whereby a lack of fire safety would result in serious injury or death imminently if no action is taken.

If it is not urgent, but needs to be investigated, please call our Fire Safety team on 0121 380 7500, or for queries outside of business hours email firesafety.admin@wmfs.net

Examples of non-urgent but matters that need our attention, but are not immediate life risks would be:

  • shops or hotels regularly blocking fire escapes
  • nightlife premises allowing more people than it’s safe capacity
  • rubbish blocking fire escapes
  • parking that blocks emergency vehicle access
  • communal areas in flats blocked.

 

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Home Safety

For alarms that are hard-wired into a building (wired into the electricity) we, unfortunately, cannot offer advice or guidance as every system is different. If there are faults or issues with your alarm system and it is part of the property, you should consult either an electrician or alarm engineer. If the property is rented, the landlord or responsible company for the property should be contacted for guidance first.

 

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We offer safety checks for your home, though we call them Safe and Well visits. The visits involve a fire crew from your local station coming to your home, they’ll assess the fire safety in your property and give you advice on keeping you safe.

They will also fit smoke alarms for free where they are needed and help you to write your escape plan.

To book your free safe and well visit or find out more please call 0800 389 5525.

 

 

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We don’t usually attend cats up trees. Most of the time they aren’t stuck, they could be scared or just enjoying the view!

If you are concerned about a cat up a tree, here are some simple tips to try first.

  • Try and coax it down – try gently calling or showing them treats, they might be tempted!
  • If coaxing doesn’t work, we’d recommend putting down some food or treats and leaving the area for a short time, so the cat can come down by itself
  • Use toys or a laser pointer – cats are known to love chasing things, try using some of their favourite toys or a laser pointer to tease the cat down
  • If none of the above works, put down the treats or food and then leave the cat for a minimum of 24 hours, if it wants to, it’ll come down by itself in this time.

If after 24 hours nothing has worked, call the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999. They will be able to give you further advice and if necessary, can send an officer to help you. The fire service will NOT attend cats up trees unless the RSPCA officer is there and they request our assistance formally through our control room.

 

 

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If your smoke alarm is beeping intermittently, this normally means the battery is running low. It’s just a case of replacing the battery!

If after doing this it’s still beeping, it may be that it’s faulty and you will need to organise a replacement. If you live in a rented properly, your council, housing agency or landlord should be responsible for replacing this for you.

If you are interested in one of our Safe and Well visits, where we can fit smoke alarms for free and do a general safety check on your home, then you can call our Safe and Well team on 0800 389 5525. Not everyone is eligible for these checks, as we prioritise them for the most vulnerable in our communities, but the team can still offer advice.

If your alarm is going off as though there’s a fire, then regardless of whether you know what has caused it, you should dial 999 and ask for the fire service.

 

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Recruitment

If you want to become a firefighter with us, your first place to look is our firefighter’s careers page. This gives you all the information about recruitment and the role itself to see if it’s the job for you, and details of how to apply are there too!

It isn’t for everyone, and it’s much more than just being fit and healthy. But for those that join our emergency services family, it’s a rewarding career that we hope will last a lifetime!

 

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Reports and Administration

If a water hydrant is leaking or appears broken, you need to let us know.

We are responsible for hydrants around the West Midlands. Although Severn Trent do have the ability to deal with them in emergencies, usually they will not get involved unless we are unable to attend for some reason.

To report a hydrant problem to us, please complete this short form:

If we need to get in touch with you for more information can we do this?
YesNo

For further information about how your information is used and how we maintain the security of your information including your rights to access your information then please see our privacy policy.

To prevent spam, please complete the CAPTCHA below before clicking submit.

 

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If you require a report of an incident involving our service, either for your own records or for insurance purposes, we are able to provide it, but there may be a charge.

Please see our information disclosure page to submit your request.

 

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Safety

We can only extinguish bonfires if the fire is either out of control, unattended or generally is causing a danger to people or property. If you believe this is the case, please dial 999, ask for fire, and pass the details to us.

If the fire is not out of control or unattended and you want to complain about smoke or environmental nuisance, you would need to speak to your council. The links to each council’s relevant page for bonfires/air pollution reporting can be found below:

Birmingham City Council
Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council
Walsall Council
Dudley Council
Wolverhampton Council
Sandwell Council
Coventry Council

For further guidance on bonfires, please see our garden safety page.

 

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