Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do I dispose of a fire extinguisher?

For information on proper disposal, please visit our webpage: How to Dispose of a Fire Extinguisher.

How do I dispose of expired medications, sharps, or hazardous materials?

  1. Expired Medications - For information on proper disposal, please visit our webpage: MED Project.
  2. Sharps - For information on proper disposal, please visit San Mateo County Health's webpage: Safe Home Needle Disposal.
  3. Hazardous Materials - All household hazardous items (i.e. batteries, oil, antifreeze, paint, fertilizers, pesticides, thermometers/thermostats, cleaning agents, aerosols, and fluorescent light bulbs) need to be disposed through the San Mateo County Household Hazardous Waste Program. Please call them at (650) 363-4718 or visit for an appointment.

Do you offer car seat installations or safety checks?

For car seat information, please visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's webpage, Car Seats and Booster Seats.

How do I notify you that I am having a BBQ this weekend?

  1. If you are having a large BBQ, you can report it to non-emergency dispatch at (650) 368-1421.
  2. If you need a tent over 400 feet, you will need a permit. Please contact Fire Prevention for assistance at (650) 522-7940 or email

I need to test my fire alarm. How do I notify the Fire Department?

Please contact non-emergency dispatch at (650) 368-1421.

I need help getting someone up (lift assist). Who do I contact?

If someone has fallen and/or needs help getting on their feet, please call our non-emergency dispatch number at (650) 368-1421. If they have any injuries of any kind, please call 911.

I received an invoice from the San Mateo Consolidated Fire Department, and I have a question about it. Who do I call?

For questions, please call the Community Risk Reduction Division at (650) 522-7940.

How do I pay for an invoice from the San Mateo Consolidated Fire Department?

Invoices can be paid by calling our Finance Department at (650) 522-7100. Please be advised credit card payments will be charged a convenience fee. Payments may also be made by mailing a check, including the invoice number you are paying, to:

Finance Department

330 W 20th Ave

San Mateo, CA 94403

How should I prepare for a power outage/blackout (i.e. oxygen, elevator, and garage doors)?

To learn how to prepare, please visit our webpage: Office of Emergency Services.

How do I order a Knox Box for my property?

To order a Knox Box within our jurisdiction, please visit our webpage: Knox Box.

Do you have patches or department merchandise for distribution?

Unfortunately, the San Mateo Consolidated Fire Department does not have patches or merchandise for sale/distribution to the public.

Can you help with a smoke detector or carbon monoxide (CO2) detector?

For information on smoke detectors and CO2 detectors, please visit our webpage: CO and Smoke Detectors.

How do I get a copy of an incident or investigation report?

To request a copy, please visit our webpage: Request a Public Record.

How do I request a ride-along?

  1. Unfortunately, we do not offer ride-alongs.
  2. For information about our Cadet program, please visit our webpage: Cadet Program.

How do I report a leaking fire hydrant?

To report a leaking fire hydrant in Belmont, San Mateo, or Foster City, please visit one of the following webpages:

  1. Belmont - Mid-Peninsula Water District.
  2. San Mateo - California Water Service.
  3. Foster City - Foster City Access.

How do I report my neighbor smoking in their apartment?

Unfortunately, the Fire Department cannot enforce the smoking ordinance. For questions, about the ordinace, please contact your local police department.

How do I report a fire hazard?

To report a fire hazard, please visit our webpage: Report a Fire Hazard.

Can I request a fire engine for birthday parties or special events?

Unfortunately, we do not provide fire engines for birthday parties or special events. However, we can offer a video greeting. To request a video, please email us at

Can I have an event at a fire station?

Unfortunately, we do not provide the ability to have events at our fire stations.