A fire department or fire brigade (also known as a fire and rescue service or simply fire service) is a public or private organization that provides predominantly emergency firefighting and rescue services for a certain jurisdiction, which typically is a municipality, county, or fire protection district. A fire department usually contains one or more fire stations within its boundaries, and may be staffed by career firefighters, volunteer firefighters, or a combination thereof referred to as a combination department.
A fire department may also provide "fire protection" or fire prevention services, whereby firefighters visit homes and give fire safety advice and fit smoke alarms for members of the public. In many countries fire protection or prevention is seen as an important role for the fire service, as preventing a fire from occurring in the first place can obviously save lives.
Most public or municipal fire departments also carry out an enforcement role, to ensure that commercial dwellings (hotels, offices, factories, and so on) are equipped with adequate fire precautions to ensure that in the event of fire, people can safely evacuate the premises unharmed. This is also part of the protection or prevention role.