Colder temperatures bring higher risk of house fires, SAFD says

Too often, many fires are said to be preventable

SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Fire Department predicts it will be responding to more house fires over the next few days, with much colder temperatures starting Thursday evening.

Joe Arrington, SAFD spokesman, said the reality is “accidents tend to happen.”

“We like to say predictable is preventable,” Arrington said.

He said an example was at a house that was declared a total loss after a fire late Wednesday night in the 4000 block of Briarcrest.

Arrington said no one was there when a heating lamp being used to warm the family’s chickens apparently started the fire.

Arrington said a heat source should never be close to anything combustible.

Commonly used space heaters, he said, should be kept at least 3 feet away from curtains, blankets or other materials that could catch fire.

Arrington said that space heaters should also be plugged into wall sockets, not extension cords or power surge protectors.

He said it’s crucial to know extension cords and power surge protectors can become overheated and short-circuit if they’re overloaded or covered by rugs or anything that can be tossed on top of them.

Arrington said space heaters and even Christmas tree lights should not be left on if no one is in the room, and lit candles should be put out.

He also said tree lights should be checked to ensure the wires are not frayed.

Arrington said that there is also a danger of carbon monoxide poisoning if ovens are used for warmth or if exhaust fumes from outdoor generators find their way into a home.

He said more fire safety precautions can be found at

“Stay warm,” Arrington said. “But do it safely.”


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About the Authors:

Jessie Degollado has been with KSAT since 1984. She is a general assignments reporter who covers a wide variety of stories. Raised in Laredo and as an anchor/reporter at KRGV in the Rio Grande Valley, Jessie is especially familiar with border and immigration issues. In 2007, Jessie also was inducted into the San Antonio Women's Hall of Fame.

Sal Salazar is a photojournalist at KSAT 12. Before coming to KSAT in 1998, he worked at the Fox affiliate in San Antonio. Sal started off his career back in 1995 for the ABC Affiliate in Lubbock and has covered many high-profile news events since. In his free time, he enjoys spending time at home, gaming and loves traveling with his wife.