Help the Fire Department

House Numbers

Post house numbers:

  • Anywhere they can be easily seen from the road
  • By the street or on a post or sign made of fire resistant material
  • Directly on your house, apartment or garage
  • On the mailbox or curb
  • That are at least 4 inches tall
  • That are easy to read, not cursive style
  • That are visible from up to 150 feet at all angles
  • That can be seen all year round
  • That can be seen at night

Clear Hydrants

If you have a hydrant in front of your home or business, it is your responsibility to keep them clear of all tall brush, snow, or any other objects that could hamper the operations of the Fire Department. A minimum of 5 feet in diameter clearance shall be maintained around all fire hydrants per the Fire Code.

Alarm Systems Maintenance

For questions regarding maintenance of your residential or commercial alarm system, contact Fire Marshal Jon Rech at 515-331-6733 or via email.


If you have called 911 for any reason and you have a pet, please place your pet in a secure area away from emergency responders. Even if your pet is good natured, the sight of strangers entering their home and assisting their family members may make them uncomfortable and possibly aggressive. Often times we need to leave the front door open in order to move equipment. We would hate to have your pet escape out the door.

Porch Lights On

If you have called 911 for any reason and are awaiting our response, turn on your front porch light. Do this only if you can safely do so. This helps the emergency responders more easily locate your residence. Available on the market are those front porch lights that flash on and off further designating your home as the residence in need of assistance.

Insurance Information

Try to have your medical insurance information available for emergencies by keeping current cards in an easily accessible location.

No Parking in Front of a Hydrant or in a Fire Lane

Please do everything possible not to park in designated fire lanes or within 5 feet of a fire hydrant. Parking in these areas is illegal in the City of Urbandale and violations are punishable by fines. No matter how convenient it may seem, do not park in these locations, even for short periods of time.

When You Hear Our Sirens

Above all else remain calm. Avoid any sudden reactions. These actions may cause an accident. If you hear a siren approaching your vehicle from ahead or behind, take special precaution for both yours and our safety. Gradually slow down and pull as far to the right of the roadway as safely possible.

Stay Back 500 Feet

Always retain a minimum of a 500 foot following distance with all fire and emergency apparatus. This following distance should increase to a 1,000 foot cushion when the apparatus is traveling with it’s emergency lights and sirens in use. Never directly follow an emergency vehicle to the scene of an emergency. Never directly follow an ambulance while it is en-route to a hospital. Other drivers may see the ambulance but often times won’t see the trailing vehicle, even if you have your hazard lights on.

Do Not Pass Emergency Vehicles

Passing an emergency apparatus when it is traveling with it’s emergency lights and sirens in use is a dangerous practice. If the emergency vehicle must change lanes you could be in danger. You can cause more congestion in front of the apparatus. You could also be subject to a fine.

Move Over 1 Lane

In Iowa, it is an offense punishable by a fine if you do not pull over at least 1 lane for an emergency vehicle that is on the scene of an incident. If you cannot pull over 1 lane you should slow down and remain alert for emergency workers that may appear in traffic.

Never Drive Over Fire Hose

While fire fighters are on the scene of a fire they often times must place hoses across the travel portion of a roadway, parking lot or driveway. Never drive across these hoses. These hoses may be full of pressurized water needed to fight a fire. By driving over a fire hose you are endangering yourself as well as the fire fighters. These hoses can be damaged and even burst under the weight of your vehicle. The sudden release of thousands of gallons of pressurized water can injure or kill those persons near the breakage.

  1. Mike Cardwell

    Fire Chief/Emergency Preparedness Director

  2. Fire Department

    Physical Address
    3927 121st Street
    Urbandale, IA 50323

    Fax: 515-278-3972

    Office Hours
    Monday through Friday
    8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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