FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions

Are smoke detectors needed in my new home?

Yes. Smoke detectors are required on every level and in every sleeping room. We recommend the same configuration for existing homes but it is not required by ordinance.

How do I obtain a burn permit and what are the guidelines?

  • If you are in the city limits, you Must call the Fire Dept. and obtain a burn permit. This is to be done each day you burn. We will obtain you name, address and phone number for our records. If you are outside the city limits, you must call the Georgia Forestry Commission at 1-877-652-2876.
  • It must be out by dark. Recreational or fires for food consumption is allowed after dark.
  • The fire can only be used to burn leaf and limb debris. You cannot burn household trash or lumber that has been processed through a sawmill (Construction debris).
  • There must be an adult present the entire time while the fire is burning.
  • It is recommended that the burning be done in a barrel or in an area surrounded by bricks or rocks.
  • There must a water hose capable of extinguishing the fire present.
  • The fire and/or smoke cannot interfere with traffic.
  • The burn pile must be clear of any power line, or any other utility lines, as well as 50’ from any structure or property line.
  • If the burn is conducted by a contractor, a site inspection must be completed by the Fire Chief and a fee of $25 must be paid to City Hall.

How often do I need to change the battery in my smoke detector?

We recommend that residents change the batteries in smoke detectors every six months. A good time to change the batteries is during the spring and fall time changes. Contact the Manchester Fire Department if you are in need of a smoke detector.

What other responsibilities do firefighters have other than fighting fires?

Firefighting actually represents a relatively small portion of the work of a typical fire department in today’s world. The number of residential and commercial fires has steadily decreased over the years due to a variety of factors including improvements in construction, a greater public awareness of the risk factors leading to fires and a significant reduction in smoking nationwide.

Fires, however, are only some of the emergencies to which the Manchester Fire Department responds. The majority of the Fire Department’s emergency responses are, in fact, calls for medical aid, to assist the Meriwether County EMS, including illness/accidents at home and work, injuries resulting from vehicle accidents and other medical trauma. Other calls for emergency response involve hazardous materials releases, response to fire alarms and other calls for public assistance.

Firefighters also spend quite a bit of time maintaining equipment, doing routine public safety inspections for businesses, training for all types of emergency responses and filling out the reports and paperwork associated with these activities.

Why does the Fire Department bring the fire engine just for a simple inspection?

Two reasons:

  1. First, these inspections are conducted by on-duty firefighters that must be ready to respond to an emergency call from the field. This is why you almost always see the personnel together as a crew and have the fire engine with them when they are out of the fire station.
  2. Second, an important part of the value of the public safety inspection is to familiarize your local firefighters with the buildings and business in Manchester. While they check for hazards and consult with business owners on how best to eliminate or minimize the likelihood of a fire, they also familiarize themselves with access points and the layout of the facility.

Why does the fire engine respond when a request is made for an ambulance for a person with a medical condition?

All Fire Department personnel are medically trained and will often arrive before an ambulance. It usually takes ten or so minutes for the ambulance to arrive on a medical scene. The firefighters will arrive and begin treatment immediately, often resulting in a better outcome for the patient. In a more complicated medical emergency, the Fire Department personnel will be needed to assist the two EMS personnel on the ambulance. Our Fire Department is committed to providing the highest level of care possible and this means getting the emergency responders on scene as quickly as possible.