Fire Safety
<b>Free Smoke Detector Program</b>
Free Smoke Detector Program
The West Valley Fire Department, in partnership with the American Red Cross, is offering a free smoke detector for every household in our response district. Firefighters will come to your home, conduct a quick fire safety survey and install the detector in an appropriate area of your home.

Smoke alarms save lives. If there is a fire in your home, smoke spreads fast and you need smoke alarms to give you time to get out. In fact, having a working smoke alarm cuts the chances of dying in a reported fire in half!

Modern construction techniques and furnishings have greatly reduced the amount of time you have to escape from a fire. This video demonstrates the growth of fire in two similar rooms—one with modern furnishings, the other with “legacy” furnishings from 20 or 30 years ago. You will be able to see from the video you have as little as two minutes to escape safely once the alarm sounds. Your ability to get out depends on advance warning from smoke alarms and advance planning — a home fire escape plan that everyone in your family is familiar with and has practiced.

To request a free smoke detector and home fire safety survey, please call the local Red Cross office at (915) 592-0208.

Christmas Tree Safety
This holiday season, many homes will display festive Christmas trees. And while Christmas trees are meant to elicit joy and merriment, they can also spark dangerous and deadly home fires.

It is important that fire departments play an active role in educating their communities about proper Christmas tree safety to reduce the number of fires to which they must respond, thereby keeping their citizens—and themselves—out of harm’s way. The key messages: Home fire sprinklers increase safety and provide time for escape, and all homeowners should think about installing a fire sprinkler system.

The following are additional Christmas tree safety tips that fire personnel should share with homeowners in their communities: C
  • Consider an artificial tree this season. They’re less flammable than live trees and don’t require watering.
  • If you get a live tree, make sure it’s fresh. Needles should be green and springy to the touch.
  • Cut 1 to 2 inches off the bottom of the trunk before placing the tree in the stand. A fresh cut allows the tree to absorb the water. Place the tree in water right away.
  • Fill the tree stand with water every day.
  • Make sure the tree is at least 3 feet away from any heat source, like floor vents, fireplaces, radiators, candles and lamps.
  • Make sure your tree is not blocking an exit.
  • Always turn off the tree lights or unplug them before going to bed or leaving your home.
  • Use lights that are approved by a national testing organization, like UL.
  • Replace lights that have worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections.
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions for the number of light strands you can safely connect. Make sure you are using the right lights for indoors or outdoors.
  • Remove your tree immediately after the holidays, even if you don’t think it’s dry.
  • Put working smoke alarms on every level of your home, especially inside and outside the sleeping areas.
  • Remember to test your smoke alarms and tell guests about your fire escape plan.
  • Practice your home fire escape plan regularly.

For more information about fire safety, visit

<b>Christmas Tree Recycling</b>
Christmas Tree Recycling
Christmas trees play a big part in the festive holiday season. Unfortunately though, once a live tree has dried out, it becomes very hazardous. The video to the right shows the power of a dry Christmas tree. The City of El Paso is once again offering free tree recycling program. For more information on it, click on the link under the video.

<b>Winter and Holiday Safety</br>
Winter and Holiday Safety

Winter holidays are a time for families and friends to get together. But that also means a greater risk for fire. The United States Fire Administration reports there are approximately 250 Christmas tree fires and 14 related deaths each year. Following a few simple tips will ensure a happy and fire-safe holiday season.
Click on the links to the right of this article for some seasonal "Tip Sheets" from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)

<b>Smoke Detectors</b>
Smoke Detectors
Every year many lives are saved by smoke detectors. Most fire deaths in homes occur when people are sleeping. You might think you would smell smoke if your house was on fire and you were asleep but most likely you will not. A smoke detector is your nose when you are asleep. If it senses a fire it will sound and alert you to a fire when it is still small and can be controlled by you or at least allow you to escape your home and call 911. This also gives the fire department a head start on saving your home. So, first you have to have at least one smoke detector, second they must be placed on all levels of your home, per the manufacturers instructions, and third it must be tested often to be sure it is operational. Batteries should be replaced twice a year, when the time changes ("Change your Clock, Change your Battery"), even if you don't hear the "chirping" noise associated with a low battery. If a smoke detector is more than 10 years old, it is best to replace it. Click on the links to the right for more information on these life saving devices.

<b>Barbecue Safely</b>
Barbecue Safely
It’s summer. It’s the weekend. You’ve bought 80 pounds of choice, American meat. You’ve invited all the neighbors over for a barbecue. You want to show Ted next door how it’s REALLY done. If you want to make it through the evening to see the look on his face when he tastes that burger, click on the brochure to the right and follow the simple safety rules…

<b> Have an Exit Strategy</b>
Have an Exit Strategy
In 2003, a fire at "The Station" nightclub in Rhode Island resulted in the deaths of 100 patrons. The establishment was overloaded with people, and many of them lost their lives because they could not get away from this quick-spreading fire. A new statewide campaign, Have an Exit Strategy, has been designed to spread a simple, yet powerful fire safety message: Always locate a second exit when entering a public place. Remember that the best way out may not be the way you entered. For more information, click on the "Have an Exit Strategy" link on the right side of the page.

<b>Use Candles With Care</b>
Use Candles With Care
Candles may look nice, but they’re a growing fire threat in our communities. And knowing the facts about candles is a key to fire safety. Candles are a growing source of deadly home fires. In 2001, candles started 18,000 home fires and caused 190 deaths. Many people use candles for religious or decorative reasons, but it is still important to remember it still has an open flame that will ignite anything in its way. Please make sure you watch the candles carefully, and extinguish them before leaving the room.

<b>Carbon Monoxide Danger!</b>
Carbon Monoxide Danger!
Whether we want it or not, colder weather will soon be back, and many of us will be thinking of starting up our furnaces. The West Valley Fire Department recommends that you hire a professional to get your furnace ready for winter. Fall is a good time to get it checked--if there are problems, you will have time to get it fixed before winter. Every year, people die from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Nationwide, 50% of CO deaths are attributed to heating appliances. Carbon monoxide is a tasteless, odorless, invisible gas that is produced any time open flame is present; for that reason, it is often referred to as the "silent killer". Professional heating technicians will check the CO level when they start your furnace. This will give you and your family the peace of mind that comes with the knowledge you are not being slowly poisoned by your furnace. Symptoms of CO poisoning include headache, dizziness, and fatigue. If you experience these for no apparent reason, leave your house and call your gas company and 911 immediately! OTHER SAFETY TIPS: Install carbon monoxide detectors in the area of home heating appliances, and please, do not store anything near your furnace! Remember, a furnace uses flame to heat your home--anything stored near it can easily catch on fire. For more information on carbon monoxide, click on the link to the right of this article.

<b>Foster Family Homes and Group Day-Care Homes Self Evaluation Checklists </b>
Foster Family Homes and Group Day-Care Homes Self Evaluation Checklists
These checklists (Click on the links to the right)are provided to assist the foster family home operator and group day care home operator in maintaining a fire safe environment. They are also valuable for the private homeowner who would like to maintain a fire-safe household. The checklists are based on the requirements of the State Fire Marshal rule for fire safety inspection as adopted from the National Fire Protection Association Life Safety Code 101; 2000 edition. Use of this checklist by the owner does not substitute for a professional fire safety inspection by the local authority. Additional fire safety information is provided for your use. Please down load the appropriate self evaluation and additional information. Read all information and instructions and perform the evaluation. These checklists and information sheets are in Portable Document Format (PDF). To view and print PDF files, the Adobe Acrobat® Reader must be installed on your computer. If not you will need to download and install the Adobe Acrobat® Reader, which is available at no cost in formats suitable for most PCs. Go to the Adobe Acrobat® Site where you will be able to download the latest version of this utility before proceeding.

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Christmas Tree on Fire!
In an effort to raise awareness about fire safety this holiday season, Worcester Polytechnic Institute's Fire Protection Engineering department hosted a dramatic live presentation on November 29 to show what can happen to a Christmas tree if not properly maintained.
Christmas Tree Recycling
Additional information on El Paso's free Christmas tree recycling program
Smoke Alarms
Everything you have wanted to know about smoke detectors but didn't know who to ask
Bar-B-Que Safety
Americans love to barbecue. Unfortunately, sometimes it's not just the meat that gets burnt. This brochure has some Do's and Don's to keep you safe.
Have an Exit Strategy
A link to the State Fire Marshal's Office new initiative to reduce fire deaths due to lack of awareness of exit locations
Fire Safety for Texans
A listing of several useful brochures that may be downloaded for FREE!
Carbon Monoxide Site
Campaign and information site on the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Seasonal Safety Tips
Safety tips from the National Fire Protection Association! Scroll down to the section on Seasonal Tips and learn how to make your holidays safer.
Juvenile Firesetter Intervention Program
Self-Evaluation Checklists
For Foster Family Homes and Group Day-Care Homes, as well as for homeowners who just want to protect their investment.
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510 E. Vinton Road · Vinton, TX · 79821 · 915-886-2323 · 915-886-2313 fax
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