Texas winter storm: Safety tips to avoid a fire during winter weather

Winter weather brings the risk of power outages. That is why the Austin Fire Department (AFD) is sharing important winter fire safety tips as the strong, arctic cold front continues to move through Central Texas

An arctic air mass will continue to spread across the Austin area today, bringing the coldest temperatures we have seen so far this winter.

According to the National Weather Service, wintry precipitation, mainly in the form of freezing rain and sleet will occur across portions of South Central Texas this morning into this afternoon and early evening. There is also a strong possibility that freezing rain and sleet amounts will cause hazardous driving conditions.

Important winter fire safety tips:

  • Space heaters are called that for a reason. They need space! Make sure they have plenty of room around them and are placed far away from anything that could burn.
  • If you were one of the many folks who decided to invest in a generator after losing power last February, remember: generators should always stay OUTSIDE your home. To do otherwise raises the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • NEVER leave candles burning. Always put them out before going to sleep. Better yet, invest in some battery-operated/LED ones.
  • If you have a wood-burning fireplace, don’t use cedar; it gets way too hot and can cause blowback embers into your home. Use hardwoods like oak.
  • Don’t ever use your oven or a BBQ as a heater. For many reasons, they can have fatal consequences.
  • Most importantly, working smoke alarms are the cheapest life insurance money can buy. Ensure yours are in good condition by testing the batteries and ensuring the devices themselves aren’t more than 10 years old.

If you have questions about any of these things or need smoke alarms for your home, you can call the Austin Fire Department at (512) 974-0299. 


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