Baxter Springs Fire Department


Baxter Springs Fire Department



*For burn permits call 620-856-3536, stop by the station, or receive one online. They are free but are required within the city limits.

* ONLINE Burn Permit requests

*We are always looking for new people. If you are interested, please come pick up an application at the Fire Station or Police department at anytime. We now have an online application. 

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We are working with the Office of the State Fire Marshal to help get smoke detectors into every single home in our fire district.  In the United States there are 2,000 fire deaths annually, over 2/3 of these are in homes that do not have a working smoke detector.  Most deaths are caused by smoke inhalation, or hot gases.  Working smoke detectors increase chances of survival.

We believe it is so important that you have working smoke detectors we will install them in your home for free.  Simply call us or go fill out an online application.  Smoke Detectors for hearing impaired are also available.  Just call the station to get more information. 


Home Fire Safety Tips for Winter


Kerosene Heaters

Be sure that kerosene heaters are legal in your area.

Be sure your heater is in good working condition. Inspect exhaust parts for carbon buildup. Be sure the heater has an emergency shut off in case the heater is tipped over.

Never use fuel burning appliances without proper room venting. Burning fuel (coal, kerosene, or propane, for example) can produce deadly fumes.

Use ONLY the fuel recommended by the heater manufacturer. NEVER introduce a fuel into a unit not designed for that type fuel.

Keep kerosene, or other flammable liquids stored in approved metal containers, in well ventilated storage areas, outside of the house.

Never fill the heater while it is operating or hot. When refueling an oil or kerosene unit, avoid overfilling.

 Refueling should be done outside of the home (or outdoors). Keep young children away from space heaters—especially when they are wearing night gowns or other loose clothing that can be easily ignited.

When using a fuel burning appliance in the bedroom, be sure there is proper ventilation to prevent a buildup of carbon monoxide.


Wood Stoves And Fireplaces

Wood stoves and fireplaces are becoming a very common heat source in homes. Careful attention to safety can minimize their fire hazard.

To use them safely:

Be sure the fireplace or stove is installed properly. Wood stoves should have adequate clearance (36”) from combustible surfaces and proper floor support and protection.

Wood stoves should be of good quality, solid construction and design, and should be laboratory tested.

Have the chimney inspected annually and cleaned if necessary, especially if it has not been used for some time.

Do not use flammable liquids to start or accelerate any fire.

Keep a glass or metal screen in front of the fireplace opening, to prevent embers or sparks from jumping out, unwanted material from going in, and help prevent the possibility of burns to occupants.

The stove should be burned hot twice a day for 15-30 minutes to reduce the amount of creosote buildup.

Don’t use excessive amounts of paper to build roaring fires in fireplaces. It is possible to ignite creosote in the chimney by overbuilding the fire.

Never burn charcoal indoors. Burning charcoal can give off lethal amounts of carbon monoxide.

Keep flammable materials away from your fireplace mantel. A spark from the fireplace could easily ignite theses materials.

Before you go to sleep, be sure your fireplace fire is out. NEVER close your damper with hot ashes in the fireplace. A closed damper will help the fire to heat up again and will force toxic carbon monoxide into the house.

If synthetic logs are used, follow the directions on the package. NEVER break a synthetic log apart to quicken the fire or use more than one log at a time. They often burn unevenly, releasing higher levels of carbon monoxide.


Furnace Heating

It is important that you have your furnace inspected to ensure that it is in good working condition.

Be sure all furnace controls and emergency shutoffs are in proper working condition.

Leave furnace repairs to qualified specialists. Do not attempt repairs yourself unless you are qualified. Inspect the walls and ceiling near the furnace and along the chimney line. If the wall is hot or discolored, additional pipe insulation or clearance may be required.

Check the flue pipe and pipe seams. Are they well supported and free of holes and cracks? Soot along or around seams may be an indicator of a leak.

Is the chimney solid, with cracks or loose bricks? All unused flue openings should be sealed with solid masonry.

 Keep trash and other combustibles away from the heating system.


Other Fire Safety Tips

Never discard hot ashes inside or near the home. Place them in a metal container outside and well away from the house.

Never use a range or an oven as a supplemental heating device. Not only is it a safety hazard, it can be a source of potentially toxic fumes.

If you use an electric heater, be sure not to overload the circuit. Only use extension cords which have the necessary rating to carry an amp load. TIP: Choose an extension cord the same size or larger than the appliance electrical cord.

Avoid using electrical space heaters in bathrooms or other areas where they may come in contact with water.

Frozen water pipes? Never try to thaw them with a blow torch or other open flame, otherwise the pipe could conduct the heat and ignite the wall structure inside the wall space. Use hot water or a laboratory tested device such as a hand held dryer for thawing.

If windows are used as emergency exits in your home, practice using them in the event fire should strike. Be sure that all the windows open easily. Home escape ladders are recommended.

If there is a fire hydrant near your home you can assist the fire department by keeping the hydrant clear of snow so in the event it is needed, it can be located.


 Be sure every level of your home has a working smoke alarm, and be sure to check and clean it on a monthly basis.

Plan and practice a home escape plan with your family.


Contact your local fire department for advice if you have a question on home fire safety (620) 856-3536



Check Your Detectors

Spring forward, fall back, and check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. When you change your clocks, also change the battery in your detectors. Developing this habit is a good way to remember a simple task that can save your life. Be sure there are working smoke detectors on each floor of your home, particularly outside of sleeping areas. Approximately 20 percent of detectors don't work because of dead or missing batteries. In addition to replacing smoke detector batteries twice a year, smoke detectors should be replaced every 10 years. 

Space Heaters

Space heaters need space, too. As the weather gets cooler, space heaters come out of their summer hiding places. Remember to leave at least 3 feet of space around your heater. Unplug it when not in use. 

Cozy Up to a Safe Fireplace

Fireplaces are involved in thousands of home fires each year. Before you toss a log on the fire, have your chimney inspected annually and cleaned when needed. Creosote, the buildup of deposits, is a top reason for fireplace fires. In addition, cracks can allow poisonous carbon monoxide to seep into your home. And finally, a thorough inspection will remove any animals that may have built a home in your chimney during the summer. The fire protection association also suggests the use of fireplace screens to keep sparks from floating out. In addition, don't leave your home or go out or go to bed with a fire left burning. And if your have a gas fireplace, have all the connections and lines checked. 

Have an Escape Plan in Place 
Be sure you have a family fire escape plan, and practice it regularly. Have an escape route for each area of your home and a designated meeting place outside. Draw a map of the escape plan and make it easy for all members of the family to understand. Train every one to stay low to the ground when escaping a fire. If you must travel through smoke to your exit, crawl and keep your head at level of12-24 inches above the floor. Windows may provide a secondary means of escape from a burning home. For two-story homes, we would suggest the purchase of a non-combustible escape ladder that's tested and listed by an independent testing laboratory. Store the ladder permanently near the window. Escape ladders are available at most hardware stores. Buy one that hangs away from the house, rather than right up against it. Practice deploying the ladder, including how to use it from a first floor widow. 

Outside the Home

Never park your car or truck over a pile of leaves.  The heat from the vehicle's catalytic converter or exhaust system can ignite the leaves below.  The resulting fire could destroy your vehicle. Flammable liquids should not be stored in inside the home or in an attached garage or shed. This includes any unused fuel still in the fuel tank. Store this equipment away from your home or drain excess fuel out of the tank before storing. This simple safety precaution will help prevent accidental fires from escaping fuel vapors. Remove fuel from lawn mowers before storing them for winter. Contact your utility company if trees or branches are not clear of power lines. Prune back trees, and rake up leaves and debris. If you live in an open area with a lot of natural vegetation, consider creating a defensible fire zone around your home. Prune the bottom branches from trees and remove shrubs and trees within 20 feet of your home. Don’t store cardboard boxes, paper or other flammable materials in the backyard. These materials provide ready fuel for a fire and all it takes is one spark. 

Do You Have Defensible Space?
Fire season isn't over. It's not too late to make sure that your roof is clear of leaves or pine needles and that there is a clear space of at least 30 feet between your house and the nearest tree.

Halloween Fire Safety Tips
· Use a battery light instead of a candle in your favorite jack o' lantern.
· Make sure that children's costumes are made of flame-retardant materials.
· Make decorations of flame retardant materials or treat them with a flame-retardant solution

Last Updated: August 29, 2017