Frequently Asked Questions


How do I schedule a Smoke Detector Inspection?

Call the Fire Department @ 781-767-2233, and setup an appointment. Ma. State Law requires a detector at the base of all Stairways, (but not in the stairwell), and outside all bedrooms in single-family homes built before 1977. Detectors should be ceiling mounted, and 1’ away from any wall. Homes built from 1977 on, and Multi-family homes come under different regulations. The Lieutenant on Duty can explain the guidelines & locations when you call. Smoke Detector Inspections are done between the hours of 9am and 10am Monday – Saturday.

How do I schedule a Senior Citizen Safety Inspection?

You may contact the Holbrook Council on Aging @ 781-767-4617. They will give you an application, and help you set up an appointment to have a Holbrook Firefighter come to your home and install new Smoke Detectors (provided free of charge through the local Insurance Agents), or change batteries in your existing detectors. They will also perform a Fire Safety Inspection of your home.

How do I get a copy of a fire incident report?
Call the Fire Department at 781-767-2233.  It can usually be available for pickup, faxed to you, or sent via regular mail. There is a $5.00 per page fee.

When can I burn brush?
The burning of brush is permitted from January 15th thru May 1st each year.  You must come to the Brookville Fire Station at 24 South Street and apply for a permit.  There is a no fee and you will receive a full set of regulations.

Is counseling available if my child is setting fires?
Yes, Through the Juvenile Fire Setter Program. Call the Fire Department at 781-767-2233.

Do you get cats out of trees or off of roofs?
It depends on the situation.  First you should consult the Animal Control Officer. She can be reached through the Police Department 781-767-1212. If she thinks we can assist in a safe manner she will contact us. . We strongly suggest trying opening a can of tuna (this usually works), leaving the immediate area and waiting for the cat to get down on its own.

Where can I go to get my blood pressure checked?
At either Fire Station, 24 South Street, or Holbrook Center 50 N. Franklin St. 7 Days a week, Sunday - Saturday

Where can I find out about CPR classes?
CPR is taught by the American Heart Association or the American Red Cross. The Holbrook Fire Department also occasionally teaches a course if enough people signup.

How can I schedule a fire truck or a firefighter at my function?
Call the Fire Department at 781-767-2233

Who do I call about a fire extinguisher that doesn't work?
Look in the Yellow Pages under fire extinguisher or fire extinguishing systems.

When an emergency vehicle is approaching that is displaying emergency lights and sirens, what should I do?
By Massachusetts’s law, you are required to pull to the right and stop.  This allows emergency apparatus adequate and clear lanes to safely and quickly continue its response. 

Why do so many fire apparatus respond to simple incidents?
Fire Department units are dispatched according to information received by the 9-1-1 operator. The Holbrook Fire Department thinks overcautiously when they respond to citizens in need of help. In other words, the firefighters are prepared to deal with the worst that could happen. Discovering that we need more units once we arrive is often too late. We have learned from experience that it’s better to have too much help than not enough. The First arriving unit will then determine the manpower needed at the scene and cancel other responding units. In some cases the additional units will remain in service @ the scene, and can assist as needed, or respond directly to the next emergency.

A structure fire requires a number of people to do all the assigned tasks.  Firefighting teams are assigned certain responsibilities such as fire extinguishments, search and rescue, ventilation, salvage, safety, accountability and rapid intervention teams when firefighters become trapped or injured. 

Medical Emergencies also require a lot of help. Manpower is needed for patient care, and to safely remove the patient from the home. In some cases the additional manpower is needed to assist distraught family members.

How come I see fire trucks with full lights and sirens go through a red light at intersections and then, after they go through, they turn off their lights and slow down? 
As explained in the previous answer, sometimes several units are dispatched to the same incident. The first unit may have arrived on the scene, assessed the situation and informed the dispatcher that the situation was under control or that a single unit could handle the emergency. All other responding units were cancelled and put back into service, ready to take another call.

Most likely, when you see an emergency vehicle with red lights and siren through an intersection and then slow down and turn the emergency lights off, they have been cancelled from the call they were responding to.

Why do I see firefighters cutting holes in the roof of a building on fire? 
This is called "venting the roof." There are two basic reasons for this practice. Dangerous gases and dark smoke accumulate in a burning building. Unlike the movie versions of fires, it is impossible for firefighters to see in such an environment. When a hole is made in the roof because the building is "vented," the smoke and gases escape because heat and smoke rise. It makes it much easier for the firefighters in the building to see. It also reduces the possibilities of backdraft (explosion) and flashover. Another reason for venting the roof is to see how far the fire has progressed. One of the fastest avenues through which fires spread is the attic. Heat and smoke rise into the attic where the fire can move quickly. Firefighters may go ahead of the fire on a roof, cut holes to access the attic and stop the fire from spreading through the attic.

Why do I see firefighters breaking windows in a building on fire?
As mentioned in the statement above, dangerous superheated gases need to be ventilated to allow firefighters to safely and quickly rescue trapped occupants and extinguish the fire.   By venting the window of a room that is on fire, it actually helps to contain the fire within that room of origin.  Otherwise heated gases spread throughout the inside of the house.  Breaking the window really prevents a great deal more damage than it appears to cause.

Why do fire trucks respond to motor vehicle accidents?
Two reasons.  First, The Holbrook Fire Department is responsible for providing Emergency Medical Care for the Town of Holbrook. The responding firefighters are trained Emergency Medical Technicians, and Paramedics. These responding Firefighters will deal with patient care and/or in extricating (removing) trapped occupants of the vehicle.
Second, automobile accidents present other hazards such as potential fire, ruptured fuel tanks, and/or the presence of hazardous materials.

Why do fire trucks respond to emergency medical calls?
As mentioned in the above statement, the Holbrook Fire Department is responsible for providing Emergency Medical Care for the Town of Holbrook. The responding firefighters are trained Emergency Medical Technicians, and Paramedics. They will start treatment of the patient, triage, defibrillate, or administer drugs as needed. They will continue with patient care enroute to the Hospital when the ambulance arrives on scene.

Who do I call if I have problems with bees?
The Holbrook Fire Department does not remove bees unless there is imminent danger to a person.  To have bees removed, look in the Yellow Pages under Beekeepers. You may also request information from the Norfolk County Agricultural School 508-668-0268.