AUSTIN (KXAN) — Central Texas woke up to (yet another) dry and windy cold front Saturday morning. It’s been several weeks now without any soaking, beneficial rains, meaning this recent frontal passage has elevated the threat for wildfires to the highest since 2018.
The Austin Fire Department shared these tips with KXAN on how you can stay safe and prevent wintertime fires.
THEY NEED SPACE! According to the National Fire Protection Agency, space heating is the second leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries in the United States and third leading cause of home fire deaths.
Make sure there is plenty of space between the heater and anything that can burn, like clothing, curtains, and paper.
If you were one of the hundreds of Austinites who recently installed a power generator after last year’s winter storms, be aware that they need to be placed outside of your home. AFD says you raise the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning if placed indoors.
We all have our favorite candles we love to burn on cold, winter days. By all means do so, but never leave your home or fall asleep with one lit. Even better, invest in battery operated candles if you tend to forget things every now and then.
Wood-burning fire places are another winter time favorite. AFD says to make sure you clean it regularly and have it inspected. Also, never burn cedar in an indoor fireplace. It burns a lot hotter than hardwoods like oak.
- Never use a stove or BBQ pit to keep warm
- Make sure you invest in a fire extinguisher to be in your home at all times and that all residents are aware of it’s placement and how to use it
- Make sure your smoke alarms are working properly as they are the cheapest form of life insurance
- Make sure your fire alarms are no more than 10 years old. The devices should be replaced every decade
AFD lists the following number if you need assistance with any of the following tips, NOT at 9-1-1, but: (512) 974-0299.