Posts tagged “fire prevention

CSFD’s free program reduces stovetop fire risks

By Carter Hall, CSFD Public Information Officer

Cooking equipment is the leading cause of home structure fires and injuries and the second leading cause of home fire deaths.​ The elderly are the most at risk.

The College Station Fire Department can help minimize that risk for senior adults and people with mobility issues. Thanks to a federal grant, we can provide and install an automatic, easy-to-use StoveTop FireStop fire suppression system for free. The device is available to College Station residents at least 65 years old.

If you or someone you know would benefit by having a StoveTop FireStop installed, contact  Community Risk Reduction Specialist Christina Seidel at or 979-764-3705.


About the Blogger

Carter Hall has been a College Station firefighter since 2011. He earned a degree in leadership development from Texas A&M in 2005.



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Planning is essential for your family’s fire safety

By Carter Hall, College Station Firefighter

Home fires kill an average of about seven people every day. But did you know almost half of those are children under the age of five?

Most young kids don’t understand fire dangers and are incapable of knowing how to get out of a burning building. As adults, it’s our responsibility to take precautions such as installing smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, reducing fire risks, and practicing a fire escape plan. (more…)

Burning incense, grilling can be hazardous if misused

By Christina Seidel, CSFD Community Risk Reduction Specialist

When I think about burn injuries, I picture searing my hand on a toaster or curling iron, but those types of burns account for only 8 percent of burn injuries. The most common burns – 46 percent – come from direct contact with fire.

Incense and barbecue grills are prime culprits, especially in College Station, where we have responded to several incidents in the last year. Since this is Burn Awareness Week, it’s an ideal time to review some basic safety tips.


People burn incense for the same reasons they burn candles – they are fragrant and can provide a calm and soothing atmosphere. But since enjoying incense requires burning it, you should always make safety a priority.

For example, you should place incense burners on heat-resistant surfaces and make sure that the burner is properly insulated. It’s also important to never leave burning incense unattended and to keep it away from combustibles.

In 2005, a horrific fire in Washington D.C. caused by incense resulted in the death of two sisters, who were burning incense near a sofa and houseplant when the items ignited. The flames and thick smoke apparently obscured their escape route, so they sought shelter in the bathroom, where they died of smoke inhalation.

It’s important to remember that burn injuries can happen from burning anything, no matter how small or insignificant. If you enjoy burning incense, it’s a good idea to observe these safety tips:

Barbecue Grills

The weather in College Station – the recent cold spell notwithstanding – is frequently ideal for outdoor grilling, no matter the season. In addition to keeping the grill 10 feet from your house, cleaning the grill regularly, and checking for gas leaks, you should also fully understand how to light and re-light your grill safely.

In 2013, ESPN anchor Hannah Storm suffered second-degree burn injuries to her face while re-lighting her grill. Watch this video to learn more about her story and to see how gas can build up and cause an explosion:

If you’re unsure about how to use anything that involves a flame, be sure to research it thoroughly beforehand. The College Station Fire Department offers several prevention and safety programs, including one on the proper use of fire extinguishers.

For more information, contact me at 979-764-3712 or


About the Blogger

Community Risk Reduction Specialist Christina Seidel has been with the College Station Fire Department since 2013. She previously served as executive director of the Children’s Museum of the Brazos Valley and was a teacher for several years in her hometown of Lockhart. Seidel earned a bachelor’s degree in developmental psychology from the University of Texas in 2001.


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Photo Copyright: aruba2000/123RF Stock Photo

Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (July 13)

Back (L-R): Linda Harvell, Jerome Rektorik, James Benham, Barry Moore. Front (L-R): Blanche Brick, Mayor Karl Mooney, Julie Schultz.

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, July 13. It’s not the official minutes.

The meeting is being broadcast live on Suddenlink Channels 19 and 119 (HD) and online. An archive of previous council meetings is available on the website.

3:33 p.m.

The workshop has started. (more…)

Checking your smoke alarm’s age could save your life


By Christina Seidel, CSFD Public Education Officer

Did you know that having a working smoke alarm in your home can increase your chance of surviving a fire by 50 percent? That makes smoke alarms your first line of defense in a fire.

But did you also know you should replace your smoke alarms every 10 years?

That’s the focus of Fire Prevention Week, which begins nationwide on Sunday, Oct. 9 and runs through Saturday, Oct. 15. The theme of “Don’t Wait: Check the Date!” is a reminder to check the age of your smoke alarms and replace them if necessary.

Types of smoke alarms

Photoelectrical alarms have a light source inside that shines onto a sensor. When smoke travels between the light and the sensor, the alarm goes off. These types of smoke alarms are better at detecting slow-moving, smoldering fires because the particulates it detects are bigger than those detected by other alarms. Over time, the sensor inside the detector builds up too much dust — even if it’s cleaned regularly – and it becomes harder for it to detect the smoke.

Ionization alarms can sense smaller particulates that the human eye can’t see. The americium inside the detector gives off an electrical charge, which changes when smoke enters and triggers the alarm. As its electronic components age, ionization alarms become less reliable.

That’s why the National Fire Protection Association recommends you replace smoke alarms not only when they fail tests, but also when they are more than a decade old.

This video shows you how to check the age of your alarms:

Fire Prevention Week Events

  • As part of Fire Prevention Week, your neighborhood can register to participate in the Smoke Alarm Blitz on Oct. 10-11 (Monday-Tuesday). CSFD staff will check smoke alarms in up to 12 homes per neighborhood and even replace batteries if needed. Click here to register your neighborhood by the Thursday, Oct. 6 deadline.
  • On Tuesday, Oct. 11, call either College Station Dominos location between 6-8 p.m. and you can have your pizza delivered by a CSFD crew. If the firefighters find all your smoke alarms in working order, your pizza is free! If any alarms aren’t working, you’ll have to pay for your pizza, but the firefighters will replace batteries or install new alarms free of charge. You can’t lose!
  • On Saturday, Oct. 15, the CSFD Home Safety Trailer will be at the College Station Lowe’s for Safety Day. Kids can meet firefighters and brush up on fire safety in a home-like environment. They can practice calling 9-1-1, hear what smoke alarms sound like, and learn how to escape a home fire safely.

Citizens Fire Academy

Fire Prevention Week also kicks off registration for CSFD’s Citizens Fire Academy program. The free, 12-week program begins Jan. 31 and is designed to provide citizens a fun, interactive and in-depth behind-the-scenes look at their fire department. For more details or to apply, go to The registration deadline is Jan. 10.

For more information about Fire Prevention Week or Citziens Fire Academy, contact me at or 979-764-3712.

Stay safe and remember – Don’t Wait, Check the Date!


SeidelAbout the Author

Christina Seidel has been the College Station Fire Department’s Public Education Officer since 2013. She previously served as executive director of the Children’s Museum of the Brazos Valley and was a teacher for several years in her hometown of Lockhart. Seidel earned a bachelor’s degree in developmental psychology from the University of Texas in 2001.


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Smoke alarms can help you keep your family safe

By Christina Seidel, CSFD Public Education Officer

Did you know 60 percent of fire fatalities happen in homes that had either malfunctioning smoke alarms or none at all?

With this being Fire Prevention Week, it’s an ideal time to check your smoke alarms.

Smoke alarms should be installed in every bedroom and in the hallway outside a group of bedrooms. In addition, every level of your home should have at least one alarm.


3 ways to keep your holidays from going up in flames

By Christina Seidel, CSFD Public Education Officer

Copyright: bilderundvektor / 123RF Stock PhotoThe holiday season represents a time for family fun and good cheer, but Christmas trees, cooking, candles and decorations – not to mention the hectic pace of the season – can greatly increase the risk of home fires.

Fortunately, with a little awareness and some minor adjustments to your cooking and decorating habits, the season can remain festive and safe. The National Fire Protection Association and the College Station Fire Department offer these tips:

  1. Pay attention when cooking.

With unattended cooking being the leading cause of home fires and injuries, we recommend staying in the kitchen while you’re frying, grilling or broiling food. Keep anything that can catch fire away from the stovetop and turn off it off if you leave the kitchen even for a moment. If you’re simmering, boiling, baking or roasting food, check it regularly and use a timer to remind you that you’re cooking.


Time to adjust your clock, check your smoke alarm

smokealarmWhen you reset your clocks Sunday to Daylight Saving Time, the College Station Fire Department recommends that you change your smoke alarm batteries and test your alarms.

A properly installed and maintained smoke alarm is the only thing that can alert you and your family to a fire around the clock and significantly increases your chance of survival. Whether you’re awake or asleep, a working smoke alarm constantly scans the air in your home for smoke.