Fire Safety Tips

Every year we hear a heart wrenching story about a family who either lost loved ones, or lost all their Christmas presents in a fire. The Houston Fire Department says it does its best to give people the right information, but they don't always listen. Bill Stamps has more.

(Fire engine siren)

That’s a sound you don’t want to hear coming towards your house. But unfortunately it happens every year during the holidays…an electrical cord ignites a Christmas tree, a candle falls on the carpet, a cigarette is left smoldering. Lives are destroyed and Houston Fire Captain Beda Kent says it doesn’t have to happen.

“We’ve had a couple of situations where they put candles on the tree itself.”

So this year the fire department is doing it again…giving tips on how to stay safe during the holidays. Just recently twin baby girls were killed in a fire because the stove was used to heat the home. Kent says that’s a big no-no.

“We really do not recommend that, but if you do you treat it just as if you were cooking. If you’re stove is on, you do not leave it unattended.”

If you live in an older home the experts say be aware of space heaters . Don’t put anything around them, and if it’s gas, make sure it doesn’t leak. Most people already know the importance of a working smoke detector, but did you know they make detectors that allow you to record your own voice.

Sound from a fire alarm: “Kimmy, this is your father. Get up and remember what I taught you. Go out the front or back door, or the closes window. Now hurry up, and get out of the house.”

Experts say some children respond to their parents voice much better than a beeping alarm.

(Fire engine horn)

Captain Bent has seen her share of deadly fires over the years…and now that she’s working in the public relations department its her job to spread the word….to give those tips that will keep people safe. That why fires like the one that killed the baby girls are so hard to take.

“You always hope you could do better or had been there sooner to make a better outcome, but unfortunately, we do the best we can with what we have.”

Bill Stamps, KUHF Houston Public Radio News.