Fire Policies

Fire Doors

It’s against the law to prop open a fire door: Fire Door Policy (PDF)

Fire Alarms

Read about the City’s policies pertaining to fire alarms, including maintenance and false alarms.

Smoke Detectors Within Individual Rental Units

The Minnesota State Fire Code puts total legal responsibility for the installation, maintenance, and record keeping of individual smoke detectors on the owner.


Regular maintenance includes:

  • Testing of each individual smoke detector within each living unit.
  • Recording the date they were tested.
  • Recording the results of the test.
  • Recording the action taken if a detector failed to operate.

These records should be kept on the property and made available to the fire inspector at the time of inspection.


Testing should be done according to the manufacturers recommendation. Usually this involves pushing a test button for 5 to 10 seconds.

How Often Are Tests Required?

If you are providing battery operated smoke detectors inside individual living units you are required to test those detectors as per the manufacturers recommendations but not less than once per month.

If your smoke detectors are the hard wired type or part of the dwelling units electrical system, you must test detectors as per manufacturers recommendations but not less than twice annually.

Barbecues & Apartments

Fires or barbecues on balconies are prohibited.
Updated Barbecues on Balconies Policy (PDF) May 2017

The City of Hopkins bans the use of barbecues on balconies or within ten feet of a building that contains homes for multiple families. Listed electric or gas-fired barbecue grills that are permanently mounted and wired or plumbed to the building’s gas supply or electrical system and that maintain a minimum clearance of 18 inches on all sides are exempt.


This ordinance effects owners and residents of buildings that have three or more dwelling units. One and two family dwellings are exempt from this requirement. The danger to occupants and the difficulty of fighting a fire is greater in a larger building.


The 10 foot distance requirement apply to all portions of the building, including attached garages. Stand alone garages and other structures that do not contain living units are not included in these requirements.

  • It is good practice to always keep a barbecue at least 3 feet away from any combustibles including tables and fencing.
  • An ash tray/catcher is extremely important if the device is used on a combustible surface like a wooden deck.