A mission of Fire Prevention is to provide fire investigation and law enforcement services to the citizens of Georgetown through complete and thorough investigations, evidence collection and professional expert testimony in court proceedings.
Fire Prevention is responsible for investigating suspicious fires and explosions throughout the city. Nationally, arson (and suspected arson) is the primary cause of property damage due to fire in the United States and the second leading cause of building fire deaths. To combat this serious problem, certified investigators respond to assist the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Arson investigators are sworn peace officers authorized to interview witnesses, collect evidence, make arrest and appear in court.
If you have information or questions concerning fire crimes, contact the Fire Marshal’s Office at 512 930-8416 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The State of Texas Arson Hotline can be reached at 1-877-434-7345. If your information leads to the arrest of the person(s) responsible for an intentionally set fire, you may receive a reward of up to $1000.00.
The Georgetown City Council passed an ordinance authorizing fire service cost recovery from insurance providers on January 2001. Georgetown follows the lead of other cities in the area, including: Round Rock, Hutto, Cedar Park, Leander, Liberty Hill, Pflugerville, Jollyville, and San Angelo. More than 61 fire departments in Central Texas and 266 in the state are recovering costs of service from insurance providers.
The trend of insurance billing is one way for fire departments to maintain services to growing populations whose tax revenues have not kept pace with service demands.
For additional questions, contact the Georgetown Fire Department at 512-930-FIRE (3473) or visit our Code of Ordinances page.
For information on fire extinguisher training, please contact Fire Prevention at 512 930-8092.
Used properly, a portable fire extinguisher can save lives and property by putting out a small fire or containing it until the fire department arrives. Portable extinguishers for home use, however, are not designed to fight large or speeding fires. Even against small fires, they are useful only under certain conditions.
- The operator must know how to use the extinguisher. There is no time to read directions during an emergency.
- The extinguisher must be within easy reach and in working order, fully charged.
- The operator must have a clear escape route that will not be blocked by fire.
- The extinguisher must mach the type of fire being fought. Extinguishers that contain water are unsuitable for use on grease or electrical fires.
- The extinguisher must be large enough to put out the fire. Many portable extinguishers discharge completely in as few as 8 to 10 seconds.
Remember the PASS word
If you decide to use your extinguisher to fight a fire, keep your back to an unobstructed exit and stand six to eight feet away from the fire. Follow the four-step PASS procedure.
Always be sure the fire department inspects the fire site, even if you think you’ve extinguished the fire.
- Should you fight the fire? Before you begin to fight a fire:
- Make sure everyone has left, or is leaving the building.
- Make sure the fire department has been called.
- Make sure the fire is confined to a small area and is not spreading.
- Be sure you have an unobstructed escape route to which the fire will not spread.
- Be sure you have read the instructions and that you know how to use the extinguisher.
Here is another informational website on fire extinguishers.
About the Firewise Communities Program
Brush, grass or forest fires don’t have to be disasters. The National Fire Protection Association’s Firewise Communities program encourages local solutions for wildfire safety by involving homeowners, community leaders, planners, developers, firefighters, and others in the effort to protect people and property from wildfire risks. The program is co-sponsored by the USDA Forest Service, the US Department of the Interior, and the National Association of State Foresters. To save lives and property from wildfire, NFPA’s Firewise Communities program teaches people how to adapt to living with wildfire and encourages neighbors to work together and take action now to prevent losses. We all have a role to play in protecting ourselves and each other from the risk of wildfire.
About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
The NFPA has been a worldwide leader in providing fire, electrical, building, and life safety to the public since 1896. The mission of the international nonprofit organization is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education.
Please note the following important information regarding fireworks!
Fireworks Use Not Allowed
The Georgetown Fire Department reminds residents that City of Georgetown ordinances prohibit the use of fireworks in the city limits of Georgetown or within 5,000 feet of city limits. Use of fireworks could result in fines of up to $2,000.
Areas within 5,000 feet of the city limits include, but are not limited to, the neighborhoods of Cedar Hollow, Crystal Knoll, Escalera, Fountainwood, Indian Creek, Logan Ranch Road, Lost Rivers, Oak Crest, Olde Oak Estates, Serenada, Shady Oaks, Turtle Bend, Woodland Park, and areas along D.B. Wood Road.
Each July Fourth, thousands of people, most often children and teens, are injured while using consumer fireworks. Despite the dangers of fireworks, few people understand the associated risks – devastating burns, other injuries, fires, and even death. The Alliance to Stop Consumer Fireworks is a group of health and safety organizations, coordinated by NFPA, that urges the public to avoid the use of consumer fireworks and instead, to enjoy displays of fireworks conducted by trained professionals.
There are a number of majestic fireworks displays planned in the Georgetown/Austin area.
For more information on fireworks, please contact Fire Prevention at 512-930-8093.
Facts & figures
- In 2010, fireworks caused an estimated 15,500 reported fires, including 1,100 total structure fires, 300 vehicle fires, and 14,100 outside and other fires. These fires resulted in an estimated eight reported civilian deaths, 60 civilian injuries and $36 million in direct property damage.
- In 2010, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 8,600 people for fireworks related injuries; 57% of 2010 emergency room fireworks-related injuries were to the extremities and 37% were to the head.
- The risk of fireworks injury was highest for children ages 5-14, with more than twice the risk for the general population.
- On Independence Day in a typical year, far more U.S. fires are reported than on any other day, and fireworks account for two out of five of those fires, more than any other cause of fires.
Homeowners’ Insurance and Fire Services
The Insurance Service Office has classified Georgetown as a split class of 2/8B
The Insurance Services Office (ISO) is the regulatory agency which sets fire insurance rates for communities. Communities are rated on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the best rating a community could obtain, 10 being the worst. The City of Georgetown currently has an ISO rating of a split class of 2/8B, with all areas outside of the city limits having a rating of 8 or 10. A number of cities in Texas have an ISO rating of 1, including Cedar Park, Coppell, El Paso, Euless, Houston, Mesquite, Plano, Richardson, Stafford, Tomball, and Wylie.
- With a split Class 2/8B, all class-rated properties located within 1000 feet of a fire hydrant and within 5 miles of a fire station will use Class 2.
- All class-rated properties located farther than 1000 feet of a fire hydrant and within 5 miles of a fire station will use Class 8/B.
- All property located farther than 5 miles of a fire station regardless of a water supply, will be a Class 10.
It is the responsibility of the property owner and / or the insurance company to determine property classifications. If you have any questions regarding Public Protection Classifications please contact us at (512) 930-3473 or the Texas Department of Insurance at 1-800-888-4476, or email@example.com.
ISO Fire Hydrant Information
Areas in which ISO evaluates our community
The ISO rates communities in the following areas, with a total percentage of 105%:
- Alarm System (10%): Factors include the receipt and dispatch of alarms, operators, response times, the organization of the dispatch center, and communications equipment.
- Fire Suppression (50%): Factors include engine and ladder companies in service, apparatus pump capacity, equipment carried on apparatus, number of personnel staffing apparatus, number of reserve apparatus and equipment carried on each, fire station locations and their effect on response times, training of personnel, training facilities and their use.
- Water Supply (40%): Factors include fire flows needed to extinguish a fire in a structure, hydrant spacing driven by fire flows, system capacity for fire flows sustained for a duration of two hours, and inspection and testing of fire hydrants.
- Texas “Exception” Addendum (5%): Factors include fire prevention code enforcement, fire investigation, public fire safety education, and construction code enforcement. Although the Texas Exception only counts as 5% of the ISO Rating, it benefits our community with a much greater impact through community outreach, educating our children and adults.
The Knox System allows firefighters immediate access to locked buildings, storage rooms, elevators, and other secured areas without causing property damage from forced entry procedures. The Knox-Box is purchased by the property owner and mounted near the building entrance. The box contains keys, electronic access cards, floor plans, Haz-Mat data and other vital building information firefighters will need when responding to an alarm. Firefighters securely control the master key that allows them immediate access to handle any emergency at any time.
In order to secure the emergency access of properties, the fire department encourages business owners to purchase Knox Rapid Entry system products. This will provide access during non-business hours in the event of an emergency.
An application can be obtained through Georgetown Fire Support Services, at 3500 D.B. Wood Rd. or call (512) 930-FIRE (3473). Office hours are Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 12:00 pm, 1:00 – 5:00 pm. Or you may apply online at the Knox-Box website, www.knoxbox.com. This website includes product literature and pricing.
Please note the following Operational Burn Permit notice:
Georgetown Fire Department requires an operational permit inside the city limits and within the ESD#8 for outdoor burning. We have moved to an online permitting process. The applicant must meet the all of the guidelines in the state and local Outdoor Burning Regulations listed below, and an on-site inspection may be required.
Online burn permit application process: Click on the orange button below to apply.
If you do not have access to a computer, a computer kiosk is located in the foyer of the Fire Department
at 3500 D B Wood Road for this purpose.
The burn permit application is a three-step process.
Step 1: Apply for the burn permit online. An inspector will review your application within 24-48 hours.
Step 2: You will receive an email approving or denying your application.
If approved, the email will contain a link for you to submit your credit card payment.
Step 3: Once payment is approved, you will automatically receive a second email with your permit number.
This email will serve as your permit and must be retained until the expiration date.
If you do not receive an email within 24-48 hours of your application submission, check the spam folder in your email. Your email inbox may have filtered it out.
Each time prior to burning, you must call 512.930.3510 to report your control burn.
Please note: If your burn permit application is denied, you may contact a fire inspector for more information.
Office of the Fire Marshal
State Outdoor Burning Regulations:
Outdoor Burning Rules, Regulations and Guidance – The Texas Forestry Service
Outdoor Burning – The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
Outdoor fires are allowed within the City of Georgetown, without the need for an annual permit from the Fire Department/Fire Marshal’s Office, contained in the following items:
Charcoal burners and LPG barbecue pits
Site constructed outdoor kitchens
LPG Patio Heaters
A COOKING FIRE is defined as an outdoor fire where fuel (wood, charcoal, natural gas or liquefied petroleum gas) is used in preparation of food prior to consumption. Fuel being burned is contained in a barbeque grill, barbeque pit, fire ring or similar container. The process of burning wood to create coal will be considered as part of the cooking fire process. Cooking fires are allowed with in the city limits of Georgetown and Georgetown’s fire response district without an operational permit from the Fire Department/Fire Marshal’s Office.
Rules for the use of a cooking fire, chimineas and LPG patio heaters:
- Charcoal burners and other open-flame cooking devices shall not be operated on combustible balconies on any multi family structure (apartment complex).
- Charcoal burners, chimineas, LPG patio heaters and other open-flame cooking devices shall not be operated within 10 feet (3048 mm) of combustible construction; this includes balconies and patios for any multi family.
- It is highly recommended for single family residents not operate charcoal burners, chimineas, patio heaters and other open-flame cooking devices within 10 feet of combustible structures.
- Burning of natural wood to make colas shall be conducted in a below grade pit or in a containment pit, if above grade.
Operational Burn Permit Requirements (Residential and Commercial):
Application, for such approval, shall only be presented by and permits issued to the owner of the land upon which the fire is to be kindled. The permit shall be kept on site and readily available for view upon request at all times when burning. A permit shall be obtained from the City of Georgetown Fire Marshal’s Office prior to kindling a fire for the following:
- Wildlife management practices (good for 30 days from date of issuance)
- Bonfire (good per event/burn)
- Prescribe fire/burn (good for 30 days from date of issuance)
- To dispose of unwanted vegetation/fallen limbs/leaves (good for 365 days)
- Recreational fire (good for 365 days)
- Prevention or control of disease or pests (time frame of permit may vary)
- Trench burn (special circumstances and will be granted on a case by case basis)
A RECREATIONAL FIRE is defined as an outdoor fire burning materials, other than rubbish, where the fuel being burned is not contained in an incinerator, outdoor fireplace, portable outdoor fireplace, barbeque grill, barbeque pit or other commercially designed device used for burning. The container has a total fuel area of 3 feet (914 mm) or less in diameter and 2 feet (610mm) or less in height. A recreation fire is used for pleasure, religious, ceremonial, warmth or similar purposes. Items included for use in recreational fires will include fire ring ( traditional camp fire ring ), fire pit or similar device, which meet the dimensions as stated above. Recreational fires are allowed within the city limits of Georgetown and Georgetown’s fire response district with an annual operational permit.
Fuel, for a recreational fire, will not include and rubbish, construction waste, treated lumber, tires, electrical wiring, lead flashing, carpet, heavy oils, plastics, chemical wastes or other synthetic materials. In layman’s terms, if you would not cook food to consume over the material burning, you may not burn it!
Rules for the use of a recreational fire:
- Recreational fires shall not be conducted within 25 feet (7620 mm) of a structure or combustible material.
- Conditions which could cause a fire to spread within 25 feet (7620 mm) of a structure shall be eliminated prior to ignition.
- Portable outdoor fireplaces shall be used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instruc tions and shall not be operated within 15 feet (3048 mm) of a structure or combustible material.
A PRESCRIBE FIRE is a fire used for the purpose of reducing the impact of a wildland fire, crop management, general land clearing, domestic waster, or prevention & control of diseased pests/animals. The maximum dimension of a burn pile in a prescribe burn shall be 10’ in diameter and 10’ in height. Any burn pile over the maximum dimensions will be considered a bon fire. Prescribe fires/burns are allowed within the city limits of Georgetown and Georgetown’s fire district with the issuance of
an operational permit.
Rules for a prescribe burn:
- Fires in commercially sold containers that shall be not less than 15 feet (4572 mm) from a structure when in use.
- The minimum required distance from a structure shall be 25 feet (7620 mm) where the pile size is 3 feet (914 mm) or less in diameter and 2 feet (610 mm) or less in height for fire in non-commercially purchased containers.
- The minimum required distance for a prescribe burn, with a maximum burn pile dimensions of 10’ in diameter and 10’ in height, shall be no closer than 100’ from a structure.
- A fire extinguisher with a minimum 4-A rating or other approved on-site fire-extinguishing equipment, such as dirt, sand, water barrel, garden hose, dozer, or water truck, shall be available for immediate utilization.
- A containment line to bare earth shall be constructed prior to ignition for any piles to be burned outside a container.
- Burning shall be commenced and conducted only when wind direction and other meteorological conditions are such that smoke and other pollutants will not cause adverse effects to any public road, landing strip, navigable water, or off-site structure
containing sensitive receptor(s).
- Burning shall not be commenced when surface wind speed is predicted to be less than six miles per hour (mph) (five knots) or greater than 23 mph (20 knots) during the burn period.
- No prescribe fire shall be ignited prior to sunrise and all prescribe fires shall be extinguished prior to sunset.
- All Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) rules will apply for prescribe burning.