Friday, December 15, 2017
City Of Marshalltown
Fire Frequently Asked Questions

Burning Regulations

Q: What are the open burning requirements?

Open burning is allowed between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., or until dark, whichever occurs first, Monday through Friday, and from 7:00 a.m. until noon Saturday. No burning is allowed on Sundays, or City holidays (Good Friday, Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day).

Burning is limited to single-family dwellings, except upon written permission from the Fire Chief or Fire Marshal. Materials that may be burned are limited to vegetation that grows or has grown on the property, or that is deposited there by the elements. Burning of garbage is absolutely prohibited. If burning is done outside of a covered container, a minimum distance of 50' from a building must be maintained; if done in a covered container, a minimum distance of 15' to a building must be maintained. The fire must be constantly supervised by a competent person equipped with a satisfactory means of control, such as a garden hose connected to a water supply. Burning on public streets, alleys, or the property of another is prohibited. These regulations do not apply to recreational fires, such as barbecues. Good judgement as to wind conditions and creating a nuisance to a neighbor should also be exercised.

Any violation of the rules concerning prohibited burning and open burning, which requires a response by the Marshalltown Fire Department to control or extinguish such combustion, will be subject to a response fee of $100.00 for the first offense, $200 for the second offense, and $300 for the third offense as established by Ordinance of the City of Marshalltown, Iowa.

Q: What are the requirements for having a recreational fire?

Recreational Fire means an outdoor fire burning seasoned hardwood contained in appliances specifically designed for this purpose, with a total fuel area of three (3) feet or less in diameter and two (2) feet or less in height, for pleasure, religious, ceremonial, cooking, warmth, or similar purposes.

Recreational burning shall be allowed for food preparation and camping purposes or as defined in the definition section. The material to be burned is limited to seasoned wood, and the fire shall comply with all other applicable state and local codes related to open burning.

  • All recreational fires shall be contained in appliances specifically designed for this purpose. Recreational fires shall be located no less than 15 feet from any structure. The responsible party must provide means to control flying embers.
  • All recreational fires shall be extinguished by 2:00 a.m. and shall use methods that will ensure all remaining embers are completely extinguished.
  • Municipal camping areas are exempt from the requirements of this section except the restrictions on size.
  • Recreational fires are allowed year-round.
  • Recreational burning that is offensive or objectionable because of smoke or odor emissions or when atmospheric conditions or local circumstances make such fires hazardous shall be prohibited.

Hiring Practices

Q: What is your hiring process?

The Fire Department is covered under Iowa Civil Service law. We generally will test for new hires at approximately 3-year intervals, unless we hire everyone off a list. The Civil Service Commission will certify a list of ten candidates from which we hire. The process includes an application with a $15.00 fee, a written test, physical agility test, and an oral interview. If an individual wishes to be included in the process, it is best for them to contact the Personnel Department with the City of Marshalltown (click Human Resources under Departments in our main menu for contact information). Because there is no set time frame for testing, applicants can have their information added to our contact list to have an application sent to them when we open the testing process. It is important that applicants keep their information updated if it changes.


Q: What services do you provide?

The Marshalltown Fire Department is a full-time, career department with 28 employees, operating 3 shifts, on a 24/48 basis. We provide fire suppression and extrication services, and first responder service within the City limits. We are also trained in high angle, confined space, trench, and water rescue.


Q: Who do I contact for fire permits and inspections?

Contact the City Fire Marshal at 641-754-5751 during normal business hours.

Q: What permits are issued by the Fire Department?

The City of Marshalltown has adopted and follows the 2006 International Fire Code which includes a chapter that defines when a permit is to be issued. The most common permits issued include: Places of Assembly (restaurants, bars, churches, etc.); Repair Garages; Flammable liquids (gas stations, private dispensing tanks).

Charges and Fees

Q: Do you charge for fire calls?

We do not charge for fire calls. There may be a response fee for open burning calls (see the first question on this page regarding open burning). Annual fire inspections are completed across a wide variety of businesses or organizations and may have a fee associated.

Hours of Operation

Q: What are your office hours and location?

Office hours for administrative personnel are Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. til 5:00 p.m. Reference our home page for complete office hours information. There is always someone at the station unless we are responding to a call for service.

Fire Extinguisher Service

Q: Do you provide fire extinguisher service and maintenance?

No, we do not provide that service. Qualified service companies may be located in the telephone book under fire extinguisher sales and service.

State Fire Marshal

Q: What is the contact number for the State Fire Marshal's office?

Their number is 515-725-6145.

MCC Burn Trailer

Q: How do I access the burn trailer facility at Marshalltown Community College?

Use of the burn trailer and associated training devices may be accessed by contacting the Deputy Chief of the Marshalltown Fire Department at 641-754-5751, or by contacting Marla Williams at IVCE at 641-844-5624.

Smoke Dectectors

Q: What kind of smoke detectors and locations for them do you recommend?

We recommend that residents purchase dual-sensor detectors for every level of the home and hallways outside the bedrooms. These detectors sense both slow smoldering fires and rapid growth fires. We also recommend the 10-year lithium battery models to eliminate the need to remember to change the battery. Visit our smoke detector page to see if you qualify for a free one.