Education and Other Services

PROGRAMS / PRESENTATIONS

Presentations on fire safety, career opportunities in the fire service, or additional related topics are available to the public, business, or facility on request. Scheduled presentations may include an individual, or group of firefighters. There may also be handouts available on the topic. Special topics may include demonstrations of equipment used for specific jobs.


SCHOOLS AND DAY CARES

Schools and day cares requesting a visit to their facility may make their request by contacting the Fire Marshal's office. Information necessary for us to process your request is: A facility contact person including a phone number; the date and time you would like the event to occur, the number of children expected to participate in the presentation; the age group of the children; and the specific location at the facility where the presentation is to be held. Topics such as safety tips for the children to remember, 'Stop Drop and Roll', importance of fire drills, etc. may be provided during the presentation. In addition, a fire engine and other firefighting tools and equipment may be viewed by the children with direct supervision by firefighters.

SMOKE ALARMS

 There are more than 18,000 residential fires each year in the State of Texas. More than 150 persons die as a result of fire each year. The best answer today for protecting the life of your family is to install and maintain smoke alarms inside your home.

Smoke alarms may be battery operated, or they may be 110 volt interconnected type. Smoke alarm may be mounted on the ceiling or on the wall, but must be no closer to the point with the wall and ceiling meet than 8 inches. The smoke alarm should be mounted no closer than 12 inches from a corner, and no closer than 3 feet from an air conditioning register or ceiling fan. Smoke alarms should be installed in each room where sleeping occurs, regardless of whether it is considered a bedroom. Smoke alarms should also be installed within hallways connecting bedrooms. Smoke alarms should also be located at the top of a stairway if the home is multistory.

Do not mount smoke alarm in the kitchen, or directly outside of bathroom doors to prevent nuisance alarms occurring.

The Port Arthur Fire Department offers free smoke alarms to lower and middle income families. Contact the Fire Marshal's office to find out how you can obtain your free smoke alarms. We will also come to your home and install the smoke alarm, and return to change out a battery when you request our assistance.

FIRE EXTINGUISHERS

Portable fire extinguishers are considered to be first aid for the occurrence of fire. If you can control and extinguish a fire while it is still small, property damage can be minimal. There are several different classifications of fire extinguishers and they are designed to put out fires involving different types of materials or hazards.

 Class A – Ordinary combustibles such as wood or paper products.

Class B – Flammable or combustible liquids such as cooking oil, kerosene, gasoline, etc.

Class C – Electrical or energized wiring or equipment.

Class D – Flammable metals such as magnesium.

An ABC rated fire extinguisher is commonly called an all purpose extinguisher because it can be used for all classes of fire except for flammable metals. A fire extinguisher should be visually checked often to make sure it is in good working condition. The fire extinguisher should be inspected by authorized persons annually. To use a fire extinguisher, pull the pin from the handle, aim the fire extinguisher hose or nozzle at the base of the fire, and sweep the nozzle back and forth until the fire is extinguished.

If the fire involves a skillet or pan of burning liquid such as cooking oil, do not spray down into the liquid, just sweep across the top so you don't splash the liquid out of the pan spreading the fire.

If you would like more information or training on fire extinguishers, please call the Fire Marshal's office.

FIRE EVACUATION DRILLS

Many of the commercial businesses within the City of Port Arthur are required under the International Fire Code, as adopted by the City of Port Arthur, to have an emergency plan and to conduct evacuation drills annually. Some business occupancies, according to their defined use, may be required more frequent fire drills than just annually. Important information to consider in planning your drills for your business is: (1) identifying a place to gather after exiting the building, (2) accountability of your building's occupants {workers and visitors}, (3) familiarizing your staff with the procedures for evacuation, and (4) record keeping. If you have any questions regarding requirements on fire drills for your business, you may contact the Fire Marshal's office for clarification.

It is recommended by the Port Arthur Fire Department, and the National Fire Protection Association, that everyone participates in Fire Drills in the Home. Each family member within the home should be instructed of the planned meeting spot outside the home to gather after escaping, whether it is on the front sidewalk, by a specific tree in the yard, etc., but by all means, where all members of the home can be accounted for. Plan to provide assistance, if possible, to any member of the family which may be too young, or otherwise infirm to the point that they are unable to escape on their own. Remember that smoke and other smoke byproducts are hazardous, including the superheated air within the building from the fire. Stay low while escaping, not standing upright as you make your way out. Practice these procedures regularly so everyone in the family will be prepared in the event a fire does occur within your home. Call 911 to report the fire from outside the home on a cellular phone or by using a neighbor's telephone. Tell the firefighters when they arrive of any member of the family who may be unaccounted for during the escape. Working smoke alarms and flashlights are valuable tools in enhancing your ability to escape quickly. Check your paths of escape and make sure that these pathways and the exit doors are not blocked and may be unlocked easily by those needing to escape.

BURGLAR BARS

The City of Port Arthur has specific requirements by City Ordinance regarding the installation of burglar bars, grilles, grates or similar devices which may be installed on an emergency escape or rescue window or door. The code states that there shall be at least one rescue window in each room and that it shall be equipped with a release mechanism operable from inside the house without the use of a key, special too or special knowledge or effort. The Ordinance also requires that smoke detectors shall be installed in each sleeping room and in the hallway within 10 feet of the sleeping rooms. For more details on this, visit Part II, Article II, Section 18 - 39 of the Code of Ordinances.
https://library.municode.com/index.aspx?clientId=11444

Additional questions regarding burglar bars may be addressed by contacting the Fire Marshal's office.

BARBECUE SAFETY

Summertime is a great time for outdoor activities and a good old fashion BBQ is no exception. Barbequing can be enjoyed year round and is an alternative solution to preparing our meals. Barbequing in a safe manner is important to avoid causing personal injury and property damage.

The International Fire Code, as adopted by the City of Port Arthur, does not allow open flame cooking devices to be operated on combustible balconies or within 10 feet of building without the protection of an automatic sprinkler system. One and two family dwellings are listed within the exceptions. When barbequing: (1) stand to the side {not directly over the grill} when lighting charcoal using a charcoal starter fluid, or when using propane fuel (2) the charcoal shall be allowed to completely cool down before trying to empty the ashes into the trash.

Having a fire extinguisher, or garden hose connected to the water supply nearby is a good precaution.

HOLIDAY FIRE SAFETY

Holidays are a time for fun, enjoying spending time with family and friends, and celebration. By using our decorations in a safe manner can add a festive atmosphere without the risk of property damage or injury occurring. Here are a few safety tips to remember!!!
  1. Do not use open flame devices, such as candles, in close proximity to combustible items such as paper or plastic materials.
  2. If you use a live Christmas tree in your decorating within your home, the tree should be kept water so it will remain fresh for as long as possible. It is best if you don't put your tree up until closer to Christmas, and take it down within a few days following Christmas. Cut trees tend to dry out rapidly and they become a high fire hazard if an ignition source comes into contact with them.
  3. Never use open flame devices, such as candles on any tree.
  4. If stringing electric lights on your tree, follow the manufacturer's recommendations on how many strings may be connected safely. Check your strings of lights before placing them on the tree to make sure the wiring is in good condition.
  5. Make sure you have working smoke alarms within your home to give you the early warning you need to escape if a fire does occur.
  6. If a fire does occur in your home, please get everyone out as quickly as possible, especially if a Christmas tree is in the home. Dry trees can spread the fire more rapidly than other fires.

FIREWORKS SAFETY AND REGULATIONS

Fireworks account for more than 450 fires each year in the State of Texas. Most of these type fires are found to be in July and again in December and January. Holiday seasons provide an opportunity to celebrate. We would invite you to follow a few simple rules to insure your safety while you enjoy using the fireworks. Most municipal jurisdictions, including the City of Port Arthur, prohibit possession, sale, or use of fireworks within the corporate city limits. The reason for this is because of the proximity hazard of structures and the increase in population within a city increases the risk of damage from unwanted fires or from injuries by the fireworks operator or bystanders.

To be safe while using fireworks follow the tips listed below:
  1. Do not hold any lit fireworks within your hand.
  2. Do not point any fireworks at anyone.
  3. Do not pick up any misfired fireworks as they may still detonate causing injury to the person handling it. Have a bucket of water handy to douse the firework if it fails to explode as it was supposed to. Wait 30 minutes before picking up the failed firework to dispose of it.
  4. Do not use any type of firework, or in any manner which is prohibited; or otherwise warned against by the manufacturer on the packaging.
  5. Do not use any type firework which is not determined to be legal for sale and use by the public.
  6. Fireworks which are above the class determined for use by the public are to be used by professional pyrotechnic operators and require a license to operate and permits for performing displays.

PUBLIC INFORMATION

If you wish to request any report or other materials which are available to you under the Public Information Act, you may make your request for the records or materials through the City Secretaries office.

City Secretaries office: 409-983-8115.