Frequently Asked Questions

planning your visit

How do I get to the Museum?

The Museum is located at 118 Adams Avenue between North Second Street and North Front Street in Downtown Memphis.


From East Memphis/Cordova/Bartlett:

Take I-40 West towards Memphis. Take the I-40 West exit (10B) towards Little Rock. Take the Second Street exit (1A) towards Third Street and then turn right onto Adams Avenue. Museum will be on the right.


From North Memphis, Millington:

Take the US-51 towards Memphis. Turn right onto Pear Avenue. Turn left onto North Second Street and then right onto Adams Avenue. Museum will be on the right.


From Mississippi:

Take I-55 North towards Memphis. Keep right to take the I-240 North (Exit 6B) towards Little Rock. Take the I-40 West exit (31B) towards Little Rock. Take the Second Street exit (1A) towards Third Street and then turn right onto Adams Avenue. Museum will be on the right.


From Arkansas:

Take I-40 East towards Memphis/Nashville. Take the Front Street/Riverside Drive exit (1) and keep left to take the Front Street North/Front Street South ramp. Turn right onto North Front Street and then turn left onto Adams Avenue. Museum will be on the left.
Hours and Admission

When is the Museum open?

The Museum is open Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. On Sunday, the Museum is only open for private events. We are closed major holidays. When there is inclement weather (ice/snow), we will be closed when Shelby County Schools is closed. Winter hours will last until May.

How much is admission to the Museum?

Admission is $10 for adults (Ages 18 and Up), $8 for Children 3-18,$8 for seniors (60 and over) and Military (with Military ID), Children 2 years old and under are free.

What are the hours of the gift shop?

The gift shop is open during regular hours of operation.

What does the Gift Shop carry?

The Museum Gift Shop offers a large variety of Memphis Fire Department memorabilia and Museum exclusive items with a fire or dalmatian theme. We even stock items for horse lovers based on our animatronics Ol’ Billie exhibit! The Gift Shop is open during regular hours of operations. If you can’t come to our on-site shop, please visit our Online Store or call your order in at 901-636-5650.

Can I come to the Museum just to visit the Gift Shop? If so, do I have to pay the admission charge?

You do not have to pay the admission charge. Visiting the shop is free of charge, but does not grant the visitor access to the rest of the Museum.

Can I visit the Museum myself, without scheduling a tour?

Yes, the Museum is open to all visitors and is self-guided. The Memphis Fire Department and Museum staff are available to answer questions and provide answers to any questions you may have regarding exhibits within the Museum.
Visiting as a Group

How do I arrange a Fire Safety Educational Tour for a school group or other group?

All guided school groups (includes day cares, summer camps, etc.) wishing to take our Fire Safety Educational Tour must make advance reservations for visits. Reservations are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis and tend to fill up quickly. Please make your reservations as early as possible. Guided educational tours can be arranged for groups of 10 or more. To make a reservation today, please visit our Fire Safety Education page.

Do you offer tours in any languages other than English? Are there tours in Sign Language?

Presently the Museum does not have any scheduled tours for our visitors who speak different languages or have hearing impairments, although as we add and redo exhibits, we are adding closed captioning in all videos.
About the Museum

Is the Museum a private or public institution?

The Fire Museum of Memphis is a not-for-profit institution entrusted to maintain the collection of the Memphis Fire Department and provide fire safety education to the public. The Museum is not funded by or controlled by the Memphis Fire Department, but is a separate entity funded through donations, admission and Gift Shop sales. It operates in a firehouse, formerly the site of MFD Station #1.

How large is the Museum and its collections?

The Museum has two floors of Exhibit Space in Old Fire Station #1 and one floor of Exhibit Space in the Snowden Building. The second floor of the Snowden Building is home to our Banquet Room, Museum Offices and the Memphis Fire Department Life Safety Educators Offices. The Museum contains numerous apparatus that served the MFD, other firefighting artifacts once used by the MFD, and a play area with two fire trucks for kids to play in and Fire Safety Educational exhibits.

Do you lend or lease your collection?

We do not lend or lease any of the collection to the general public. We do, on occasion, lend objects to other Museums or organizations for limited exhibition, or for television, theater or movie production. Such loans require the approval of the Museum’s Board of Trustees.

How many artifacts/pieces do you have on display?

The Museum has one of the largest collections of fire-related artifacts and artwork in the world, with thousands of objects and an archive of tens of thousands of photographs, documents and memorabilia.

What is meant by the term “permanent collection”?

This is the complete set of objects owned by the Museum, but does not apply to objects on loan to our Museum from other institutions. Our permanent collection can be found in storage, on display, or on loan to other institutions.

Why are some objects not on exhibit?

Our collection contains thousands of objects, all of which cannot be displayed in the three exhibition floors of our two buildings. Some of our collection is on loan to other institutions, and some of it is in storage. Certain objects, such as historic photographs, prints, and paintings, are sensitive to light and need to be kept in special conditions. Very delicate objects have special storage requirements or require conservation before going on display.

What is meant by the term “special exhibition”?

This is a temporary exhibit highlighting a particular event in the history of Memphis firefighting and/or showcasing artistic works related to firefighting.

How do I find out how much an object in the Museum collection is worth?

The Museum does not disclose the monetary values of objects in its collections for security reasons.

Can you tell me the value of an artifact I own?

The Museum cannot provide monetary appraisals.

Is photography or videography permitted in the Museum?

Photography and videography are allowed in the Museum so long as the images are for personal, non-commercial use. Please be mindful of other visitors.

How do I request images of works in the Museum’s collection?

You may use images from our Online Catalog for non-commercial purposes with attribution to the Fire Museum of Memphis. If you require higher-resolution images, non-watermarked images, or images for commercial purposes, please contact the Archive Department at fmomemphis@gmail.com or (901) 636-5650.

How can I donate a work of art or artifact to the Museum?

The Museum benefits greatly from the generosity of the public and welcomes donations to its collection. The Museum carefully considers all offers, but not every object is suitable for this Museum. If a donation could be housed somewhere more appropriate or will not have a chance to be exhibited, we prefer not to take it. If you are interested in donating art or artifacts, appropriate for the Museum’s collection, please contact the General Manager at (901) 636-5650.

Is commercial photography or filming permitted in the Museum?

It is permitted with the permission of the Executive Director. To get permission, please email your request to Fmomemphis@gmail.com.

Are internships available?

The museum does not have set internships available. However, we are willing to work with individuals who are studying history, nonprofit administration or other forms of archiving, to call 901-636-5650 and talk with the staff at the museum about special circumstances.
Memberships and Donations

How do I become a Member?

To become a Member: visit our Membership page; complete an application form and mail it along with your dues to the Membership Department; stop by the Museum and join on-site; or call (901) 636-5650 during regular Museum hours.

How do I make a donation to the Museum?

You may make a secure, fully tax-deductible donation online; by calling (901) 636-5650 and using your Visa, MasterCard, Discover or American Express card or by mailing a check made payable to The Fire Museum of Memphis.

Can I give a Membership as a gift?

A membership to the Museum makes any occasion special. Memberships make great birthday, graduation, wedding, anniversary, or holiday gifts for family, friends, and/or business associates. Gift memberships are available online or by calling the Gift Shop at (901) 636-5650. Gift memberships can also be purchased, in person, at the Fire Museum of Memphis Gift Shop.

What are the benefits of becoming a Member?

Benefits vary depending on the level of Membership. See our Membership page for a complete list of membership benefits.

I am a current Member and/or donor. How can I change my name and/or address and continue to receive mail from the Museum?

Provide name and/or address changes to the Museum by phone (901) 636-5650 or by sending an email to fmomemphis@gmail.com

Can I make a contribution in honor or in memory of someone?

Yes. An acknowledgement of your gift will be sent to the recipient(s), informing them of your thoughtfulness. As well, you will receive an acknowledgement of appreciation from the FMOM.
In and Around the Museum

Does the Museum have parking?

There are parking lots adjacent to the Museum and limited street parking on Adams. The Museum does not, however, validate parking. Parking on Adams is regulated by parking meters, Monday through Friday, and free on the weekends.

Are baby strollers permitted in the Museum?

Visitors may use strollers throughout the building.

Are there restaurants in the area?

Yes. Downtown maps are located at the admission area of the Museum.

How long will it take me to see all exhibits?

At a minimum, visitors should plan their visit for no less than one hour. Most visitors remain longer, some spend the day!

Is there a coat check?

No. Unfortunately, we don’t have adequate space for this service.

Is there a place to eat?

The Museum does not have a place to eat and no food or drinks are permitted on exhibit floors. For field trip groups, the Museum can provide a place for the children to eat their lunch if the Museum is contacted prior to the visit and arrangements are made.

Is the Museum wheelchair/handicap accessible?

Yes, the Museum is wheelchair accessible, including an elevator with access to our second floor Exhibit Space and our Banquet Room.

Who will enjoy the Museum?

The Fire Museum of Memphis was designed to attract visitors of all ages. For some, viewing our antique trucks and experiencing our rich history in the Great Fires Room meets their expectations. However, once they discover the sights and sounds of the FedEx FireRoom, our visitors realize this in no ordinary fire museum, but an experience they want to share with others. Our exhibits demand hands on participation, so get ready to drive a real fire engine in the children’s play area (simulator addition coming in the Fall, 2014), slide the fire pole, and play specially designed fire and life safety computer games in the Arcade Room.
Event Space

What kinds of events does the Museum host?

The Museum is suitable for an array of different events. Our most popular events are birthday parties, corporate functions, luncheons, and weddings.

Do I need to install anything?

The desired date of your event will be placed on hold once the deposit is made.
Once the client confirms the event, the Museum will send a contract and a 50% deposit of the total fee is required. Deposits are non-refundable. Please go to Host an Event and fill out the form and someone from the Museum will contact you and help you finalize your plans for the event here at the Museum.

Is there a guarantee?

There are parking garages within walking distance of the Museum. The Museum does not receive any special discounts nor do we validate. Parking is available for free on Adams Avenue after 5:00PM and on weekends.

Can more than one event occur at the same time?

The Museum will determine the number of events that may occur simultaneously and will ensure that any one event will not be disrupted by another.

How do I get started?

Rental prices are quoted upon request and based on the type of event and number of hours.

What time can my event start and end?

Rental fees are based on a 4 hour event. Overtime charges will be incurred for each additional hour or portion thereof. Event set up may not begin until the Museum closes to the public. Exceptions may be made depending on the production and with approval from the Director of Special Events.

Do you have any exclusive vendors?

The Museum does not have any exclusive vendors.

Is security available for events?

Museum security is required for each special event. Events requiring additional outside security must be approved by the Director of Special Events.

Is smoking permitted at the Museum?

Smoking is permitted only outside the Museum in designated areas. The client is responsible for cleanup of smoking premises.

Does the Museum have air conditioning?

The interior of the Museum is both air conditioned and heated.

How do I get started?

Banners and signs and other décor are permitted for your event, but cannot be attached to the light fixtures due to risk of fire. Please speak to the General Manager regarding specific rules and regulations. Existing Museum signage cannot be removed. All event signage must be removed following the event.
Birthday Parties

How do I get started?

The Museum has two types of birthday party packages you can choose from. The “Four-Alarm” Package and the “Five-Alarm” Package. Please go to Host an Event to learn more about both packages.

How do I make a reservation?

A $100 nonrefundable deposit is required to reserve your date. Balance is due on the day of the party. No checks accepted two weeks prior to the party. Cash or credit card (only) accepted on day of the party. You can schedule your party now by going to Host an Event. Or you can call (901) 636-5650 to book your party.

Can parents stay for the party?

Our party package is not a drop off party. We advise all parents to stay for the duration of the party as well as participate in activities with their children.

What if I need to reschedule my party?

Once you have confirmed the date with a $100 deposit, your party is booked. If the need arises that you must re-schedule your birthday party you will need to contact the Museum. The Museum staff will try to work with you as much as possible to reschedule your party for a date that works for both yourself and the Museum.

What dates and times do you host your birthday parties?

Birthday parties are held Monday - Saturday from 10:00AM-Noon, 12:30PM-2:30PM, and 3:00PM-5:00PM. On Sundays, they are held from 1:00PM-3:00PM and 3:30PM-5:30PM.

Can I have more than 20 children?

Yes. The fee covers up to 20 people (children and adults). Additional guests are welcome for an additional $5.00 per person.

What is your cancellation policy?

Once you have confirmed the date with a $100 non-refundable deposit, your party is booked.

What if there is inclement weather?

If, due to inclement weather on the date of your reserved party, you feel the need to cancel your party, the Museum reserves the right to withhold any deposit if the Museum is officially open for admission on the day of your scheduled party. In the event the Museum is officially closed, we will return your deposit or reschedule your party for a later date.

At what age are children counted as guests?

All children are counted as guests and part of your party package, excluding infants.

Do you provide decorations? How about invitations?

We provide decorations based on the level of party that you request. Please see Host an Event for a list of what is included. Fire themed invitations, thank you notes, goody bags (pkg. of 8), and other birthday items are available for purchase in the Gift Shop.

Can alcohol be served at the party?

As the Fire Museum is a family establishment and open to the public during your child’s birthday party, we do not allow any form of alcohol to be served or consumed.

Is there any food included?

Food and beverages are not included. The Museum does not provide refreshments, but we have a freezer, refrigerators, warming oven and ice machine. You may arrive 15 minutes before your party to set up.

Do guests have to pay to get into the Museum?

Your party covers up to 20 guests, adults and children. Any additional guests (including parents accompanying invited children) will incur an additional $3.00 charge per person.
Museum Gift Shop

How do I get started?

All Gift Shop and online sales are used to support the mission and vision of the Fire Museum of Memphis.

How do I return an item purchased from the Online Store?

We will pay return shipping costs if the product is defective or if the return is a result of our error. If the item is returned for any other reason, you are responsible for return shipping costs. Returns must be shipped prepaid. Unauthorized returns will not be accepted. We will credit your charge account within 7 business days of receiving the returned item. Before returning any item, please contact the Gift Shop at (901) 636-5650 or by email at orders@firemuseum.com

Ship authorized returns to the following address:
Fire Museum of Memphis
Attn: Gift Shop
118 Adams Avenue
Memphis, TN 38103

For questions regarding our return policy, please contact us at orders@firemuseum.com

What is your return/exchange policy?

If you are not completely satisfied with your purchase, you may return the merchandise for exchange. Your exchange must be accompanied with the receipt within 14 days of the purchase date.

All returns require the original packing materials and are subject to the approval of the Fire Museum of Memphis. Please note that DVDs and toy sets, that have been opened, will not be considered for return.
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