Citizen Safety Information

Request email notification when page changes E-Notify

Fire Safety & Prevention

The Rutherfordton Fire Department Deputy Chief Craig is the main contact for fire safety and fire education programs. Deputy Chief Wendy Craig is responsible for the implementation of progressive fire inspections of industrial and commercial facilities and the implementation of the department's outreach for fire prevention programs. She is also responsible for plans checking, permit approvals, and new construction inspections.

Safety and Public Education

The Department provides a variety of safety and public education programs. Visits to the fire station are a popular activity for children. Visits may be arranged by telephone, 828-287-3520 and talking with the on-duty Fire Captain or scheduling a visit with Deputy Chief Wendy Craig at
Department personnel visit classrooms at local schools with a fire prevention message each October during National Fire Prevention Week.
You will often find firefighters at Rutherfordton events, Festivals, the Rutherfordton Christmas parade RS Central Football Games, &  to name a few.

Smoke Detectors

The fire department will offer assistance with placement of detectors in the home. Please call the fire department at 828-287-3520.


At Home Fire Prevention Ideas

Sparky School House – Fun Lessons & Games to Teach Kids about Fire Safety

General Fire Safety Tips:

  1. Plan Ahead- People who have planned in advance what to do in a fire emergency are most likely to survive.
  2. Cook with care- Unattended equipment in the kitchen is the leading cause of ignition in kitchen fires.  NEVER walk away from the stove while cooking and always double check that all oven and stove dials have been turned off when finished.  Keep a fire extinguisher within easy reach of the kitchen and remember, never use water on a grease fire.  Instead, smother the flames with the pan’s lid or baking soda.
  3. Fire place Safety- never place hot ashes from your fire place into a plastic bag or container.  Ashes can stay hot for days.  Always place hot ashes in metal cans with metal lids.
  4. Smoke Alarms Save Lives-Homes without smoke alarms account for approximately 2/3 of home fire deaths.  It is important to install and maintain smoke alarms on every level of your home and in all sleeping areas.  Never remove batteries and remember to test your smoke alarms once a month!
  5. Exit Drill Planning- A well-planned and frequently rehearsed escape plan is absolutely vital to the safety of all household members.  Draw a floor plan showing at least two ways out of each room.  Practice your escape plan with all family members at least twice a year.
  6. Know your meeting place- Have a meeting place for the entire family away from danger.  Make sure all family members know where the meeting place is and to go there so all can be accounted for.  Remember, never re-enter a burning building!  Get Out and Stay Out! 

Fire Alarm Ordinance

WHERAS, multiple false alarms to which the Town of Rutherfordton Fire Department responds create monetary expense to the town and result in increased danger of possible accidents involving those responding to such alarms; and  WHEREAS, it is determined that those locations generating multiple false alarms should have an economic responsibility for such false alarms; BASED ON THE FOREGOING, BE IT ORDAINED by the Town of Rutherfordton that:

1. Definitions:

  • Alarm as used herein shall mean any electronic or mechanical device which transmits an electronic alarm signal or recorded message to the Rutherford County Communications Center indicating a fire or other incendiary occurrence.

  • False Alarm as used herein shall mean an activation of an alarm system which elicits a response from the fire department when no situation requiring such a response does, in fact, exist. This includes accidental, avoidable, and unnecessary alarm activation due to user error, equipment malfunction, and improper or unsuited equipment, but does not include alarm activation caused by violent conditions of nature or other extraordinary circumstances not reasonably subject to control by the alarm user.

  • Residential, Storage, Business, Assembly, Educational, Industrial, Mercantile, Hazardous, and Institutional as used herein shall have the meanings as set forth fully in the Occupancy Classification of the North Carolina Building Code as adopted and enforced from time to time.

2. Penalty:

  • If the Town of Rutherfordton Fire Department shall respond to more than two (2) false alarms at the same premises or location within any calendar month, the fire chief shall issue a civil penalty citation giving notice of the violation of this section for each such false alarm over two (2) per month. The citation shall issue to the known owner or, if different from the known owner, to the person or entity having control of such premises or location. Citations may be served in person or mailed by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the person or entity charged.

  • The amount of the penalty shall be seventy-five dollars ($75.00) pertaining to false alarms to residential and storage properties, one hundred dollars ($100.00) pertaining to false alarms to business and assembly properties, and one hundred fifty dollars ($150.00) pertaining to false alarms to educational, industrial, mercantile, hazardous, and institutional properties.

  • Each citation shall impose the penalty described above and shall be paid to the Town of Rutherfordton tax collector within fourteen (14) days of issuance in full satisfaction of the assessed civil penalty. If the civil penalty is not paid within the time prescribed in the citation, the Town of Rutherfordton may initiate a civil action in the nature of debt to collect such penalty.

CodeRED Mobile Alert App

Rutherford County and Town of Rutherfordton to Use CodeRED Mobile Alert App for Emergency Notification

Rutherford County and the Town of Rutherfordton,through an existing contract with Emergency Communications Network, will begin providing public safety alerts through the company’s public safety app, CodeRED Mobile Alert.

The app, which is a free download on the App Store and Google Play, will allow residents and visitors to receive free emergency, missing person and community alerts via push notifications to their iPhone and Android devices. Roger Hollifield, Director of Emergency Management for Rutherford County, said the new platform will serve as an additional tool to help inform the community and visitors about important information that may impact their safety. "The app works similarly to our current CodeRED system. If you have the app downloaded and are in the affected area of the alert, a notification will be sent through the app to alert you of the issue,” Hollifield said.

Residents who have enrolled for the CodeRED system will continue to receive voice calls, text messages and emails. However, the app is designed to keep users safe and informed while on the go. “The app is unique because, for example, if we have a local resident who is traveling to another state that also uses the CodeRED system; they will receive any community or emergency alerts from that specific area as well. It’s just one extra way to stay safe when you’re away from home,” Hollifield said.This additional outlet for communicating time-sensitive messages to residents and visitors is at no additional cost to the current contract with Emergency Communications Network.  Learn more about how the CodeRED Mobile app works.

Emergency, community and missing children alerts are always free to app users. The app also provides subscribers a free, 30-day trial of CodeRED Weather Warning, which alerts users if they are in the direct path of a severe thunderstorm, tornado or flash flood. Users have the ability to select the types of weather notifications they want, and to customize the app based on their unique preferences. “With the weather component, you don’t have to be worried about missing hearing a tornado siren or watching a weather report. The app will alert you immediately after the National Weather Service issues a severe weather warning, no matter the time of day,” Hollifield said.  Learn how the automated CodeRED Weather Warning system works.

Residents are encouraged to download the app to begin receiving notifications.The app is available for a free download on the App Store and Google Play.

For more information or to download the CodeRED Mobile Alert app, visit
For more information on the CodeRED Notification Enrollment, visit