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Fire department frequently asked questions

Billing and insurance

You can request a fire incident report online. There is a no fee for a fire incident report. If you have any additional questions, please contact the Fire Department Administrative Offices at (217) 342-2555.

Our ISO class is a 2.

Contact Administrative Offices at (217) 342-2555.

Detectors (smoke, fire, carbon monoxide)

Yes. If your residence burns fossil fuels or has an attached garage, you are required to have a carbon monoxide detector in your residence.

Yes. Contact our Central Fire Station at (217) 342-2555 and we can set up an appointment for you.

Remember, carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless. Call 9-1-1 immediately. Leave your residence with ALL occupants, including pets if possible. Do not attempt to ventilate the residence or re-enter the residence after leaving. If it is cold outside, go to a neighbor’s residence or get inside a car and move it out of the garage (if that is where it is parked). If you have a cordless phone or cell phone, take it with you. If nobody is showing symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning (nausea, vomiting, headaches, etc.) we will respond non-emergency to your residence. However, if someone does have symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, an emergency response is initiated.


  • Central Fire Station (Station 1) is located at 505 W. Fayette Ave.
  • Station 2 is located at 500 W. Jaycee Ave.

Fire alarm service or testing

Call 9-1-1 immediately. Although you may not see an obvious problem, you could have one that is hidden from your sight. If you know what caused your fire alarm to activate, call us anyway. If you have a central station monitoring your alarm system- the central station will most likely call us. Our response to a fire alarm is with lights and siren. If we have factual information from a location that the fire alarm is accidental, our response changes to a non-emergency response.

If you have an alarm system that sends a signal to a monitoring company, please call our Dispatch Center at 217-347-0776 and tell them to put your system in test mode. Please remember to call and be prepared to give the time/date when it will be in test mode. Remember, construction dust will set off an alarm at times. So put your system in test during this time as well. We do bill for false fire alarm responses after the 3rd false activation response.

Fire extinguishers

An ABC fire extinguisher is the all-around best fire extinguisher for your home. When used properly, this fire extinguisher should be able to extinguish most types of small fires.

Consult the Yellow Pages for fire extinguisher companies as they would need to assist you.

Consult the Yellow Pages for fire extinguisher companies for assistance.

Mobile food service establishments

Go to apply for a mobile food service establishment permit to see full details of the application and permit process.  You can also contact:

An inspection will need to be done either at Effingham Central Fire Station or at your location within the City of Effingham during the following times:

  • Monday – Friday from 7:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (excluding holidays)
  • The final inspection of the day will be scheduled no later than 3:00 p.m.

Schedule an inspection with the Fire Prevention Division.

  • A full inspection of all the components of your mobile business will be conducted, including:
    • Trailer
    • Truck
    • Tent
    • Wagon
    • All other features, to include, but not limited to:
      • Cooking areas and appliances
      • Fire extinguishers
      • Carbon monoxide detectors
      • No smoking signs
      • Liquid propane tanks
      • Piping

Depending on the workload of involved staff, a permit is generally issued within a few days after the inspection.

Please allow at least a week to obtain an approval after your application has been submitted.

The annual fee to apply for a permit is $100.00, payable by cash, check, or money order.  We currently do not accept debit or credit cards.

This fee must be paid at the time of the inspection.

Approved permits are valid for one (1) year from date of approval.  You will receive a permit sticker which will expire at the end of 365 days.

A renewal application and inspection will need to be completed for existing permits prior to the expiration date.  The process for renewal is the same as applying for the original permit, and a new application and inspection must be completed.

Whether you need a hood or not depends upon which appliances you use.

Contact us for specifications and requirements for your individual needs:

  • All vendors need one (1) 10 lb ABC extinguisher for all events
  • All grease-related cooking requires a Purple K or Class K extinguisher in addition to the above

All vendors are required to have a working carbon monoxide detector.

Cooking appliances, generators and vehicle exhaust can enter cooking areas and cause sickness from carbon monoxide poisoning.  A carbon monoxide detector is designed to alert people to the presence of an increased amount of carbon monoxide before it reaches a deadly level.

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas which is formed by the incomplete combustion of fuels.

When people are exposed to carbon monoxide gas, the carbon monoxide molecules will displace the oxygen in their bodies and lead to poisoning.

Public education

Yes. You can request a station tour or contact the Central Fire Station at (217) 342-2555 to make arrangements.

The Fire Department Open House is normally scheduled on the first full week of October — which is Fire Prevention Week across the nation. Notice of the Open House is sent to the local schools, newspapers, and radio stations.

Severe weather

Dial 9-1-1 and report it. Early notification of a tornado can save lives. We will want to know where you are, the direction of the tornado, if it is on the ground, the extent of the damage in the area, and if anyone is obviously injured.

Do not call 9-1-1, unless you have an emergency — reporting a funnel cloud or tornado is an emergency. The National Weather Service suggests that you follow this guide:

  • In a home, go to the basement and get under the stairwell, or a heavy piece of furniture. If there is no basement, go to an interior closet, hall or bathroom on the lowest floor and stay away from windows. Cover your head with pillows or sofa cushions.
  • In schools, hospitals, churches and office buildings, go to small interior rooms or halls on the lowest floor. Stay away from windows. Avoid large open areas with free span roofs such as gymnasiums and cafeterias.
  • In steel and concrete high rise buildings, it is not necessary to get to the lowest floor, but go to interior halls, bathrooms, or closets. Stay away from windows.
  • In shopping centers, avoid large open areas and glass. Seek shelter in bathrooms, small interior spaces and behind counters. Do not attempt to escape in your vehicle.
  • Abandon mobile homes and vehicles for a nearby reinforced building. As a last resort lie flat in a ditch. Do not seek shelter under an overpass.

Solicitations for donations

No. The Effingham Fire Department does not use any fund-raising service, telemarketing firm or mass mailing service to solicit donations but we do continue to accept unsolicited donations. The Fire Department occasionally seeks support for targeted projects from service organizations and corporate sponsors. These have included:

  • a digital camera for the Hazardous Materials Team
  • used vehicles for rescue training purposes
  • a Collapse House for our Regional Training Center

No. Both of these legitimate organizations have solicited funds in the past by contracting with a telemarketing firm for the purpose of raising money for food baskets for the needy in Effingham. While it is your decision to help these efforts, the Effingham Fire Department does not directly benefit from your donation, nor does the City of Effingham Fire Department endorse the solicitation.

If any solicitor offers to come to your house to pick up your cash donation, this should be a ‘red flag’ that it is not a legitimate solicitation. Many scam artists avoid the Federal Mail Fraud laws by sending a courier. If the US Postal Service was used to perpetrate a fraud, it is automatically a Federal Crime that bears higher penalties.

The Illinois Attorney General’s Office investigates telemarketing fraud. If you feel you have become a victim of fraud, contact the Illinois Attorney General. Many scam artists use a false representation such as a fire or police benevolent organization. There have been many successful prosecutions of these scams. You also have the option to just hang up, say ‘no thanks,’ don’t mail the donation, or you may call us if you are not sure about the donation request.

This is certainly a ‘red flag’ indicating that the solicitation is probably not legitimate, as the solicitor is not sanctioned to identify themselves as a member of the Effingham Fire Department.

Miscellaneous questions

No. For reasons of liability and expense, we cannot fill your pool. Contact your local water department and see if they can help you.

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