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.
Frequently Asked Questions for Fire Billing
Our department provides this web page as a resource for answering questions regarding cost recovery for fire services. If you are searching for information regarding EMS or Ambulance Billing, please click here.
Q: Why did I receive a bill from the fire department for my vehicle accident?
A: In an effort to keep emergency services costs down, claims are filed with the insurance company of the responsible party in vehicle incidents. Billing for cost recovery of emergency services is allowed in all states and has been a practice in Georgetown since 2001.
Q: Why did I receive a request for my insurance information from the fire department for my vehicle accident?
A: If we were unable to obtain your insurance information at the scene of your accident, a request for that information is sent to you. Upon providing the name of your insurance company and your policy number, our billing company will invoice your insurance company directly for cost recovery.
Q: Does the fire department bill for house fires?
A: There is normally no fee charged for house fires.
Q: Are there other services provided by the fire department that can be billed?
A: Yes, services such as hazardous materials incidents, vehicle fires, false alarms, commercial structure fires, water rescues, special rescues, unauthorized burning, intentional or negligent fires, and more are subject to cost recovery by the fire department.
Carbon monoxide, also called CO, is a toxic gas that you cannot see or smell.
CO CAN BE DANGEROUS IN YOUR HOME!
You may be exposed to unsafe levels of CO by:
Using poorly maintained or improperly vented fireplaces, woodstoves, heating equipment, ovens, water heaters or other appliances;
Using a gas stove, grill, or oven to heat the home;
Running a generator, charcoal grill, camp stove, or other gasoline or charcoal burning device inside your home, basement, or garage or near a window.
Cooking with a charcoal or gas grill inside the home or other enclosures.
WATCH FOR SYMPTOMS OF POISONING
Breathing CO can cause headaches, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion.
If CO levels are high enough, you may become unconscious or die.
Seek medical help and get outside to fresh air if you think you may have CO poisoning and are feeling dizzy, light-headed, or nauseous.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Install a battery-operated CO detector in your home and check or replace the battery when you change the time on your clocks each spring and fall. If the detector sounds leave your home immediately and call 911
Make sure all fuel-burning appliances, fireplaces, and wood stoves are properly vented
Have your heating system, water heater and any other gas, oil, or coal burning appliances serviced by a qualified technician every year
Only use generators outside, more than 20 feet away from your home, doors, and windows
Never use a generator, grill, camp stove, or other gasoline or charcoal burning devices inside the home, basement, or garage or near a window, door or vent
Do not use a gas cooking range, grill, or oven to heat your home
Do not run a car or truck inside a garage attached to your house, even if the garage door is left open
Do not burn anything in a stove or fireplace that isn’t vented
Information Provided on this website is directory from CDC website.
Georgetown Fire Department and Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas are working together to provide child car seat inspections.
Georgetown Fire Department provides car seat inspections and fittings alongside Dell Children’s Kids in Cars team.
Click here to read more about the Kids in Cars Program, to schedule an appointment at one of our regularly scheduled events, or for additional resources.
If you are in need of a car seat inspection, inspections may be scheduled by calling Deputy Fire Marshal Jonathan Gilliam at 512-930-8092
To find the nearest event, Caregivers should contact Kids in Cars at 512-324-TOTS (8687). .
All About Car Seats, from the Dell Children’s Resources Site
Texas Child Passenger Safety Law
Texas law requires that children be secured in a child safety seat or booster seat until they are 8 years old, or until they are 4 foot 9 inches tall.
Children 0-2 Years
Children should remain rear-facing at least until 2 years old or until they reach the maximum rear-facing height or weight limit of their seat before graduating to a forward-facing seat.
Children 2-4 Years
When children outgrow a rear-facing car seat around 2 years old, they should ride in a forward-facing car seat with a 5-point harness system. It is safer for children to remain in a forward-facing car seat rather than a booster, until they reach the upper height or weight limit of the harnesses – usually around 50lbs.
Children 4 Years +
After children reach age 4 and at least 40 lbs, a booster seat must always be used with a lap and shoulder belt. A booster seat helps the seat belt to fit your child properly across their shoulder and low on their hips. It is usually safest to keep your child in a booster seat until they are 4 foot 9 inches tall, regardless of age as long as they are still within the height and weight limitations of the booster seat.
For children over 8 years old, the Seat Belt Fit Test can help you determine if your child is ready to use a seat belt without a booster seat.
All children under age 13 should ride properly restrained in the back seat of a vehicle away from airbags.
General Car Seat Tips
It’s important to know the history of your car seat. It is not recommended to use a secondhand car seat or a car seat that has been involved in a crash. If you are unsure of your car seat’s history, it should be replaced.
Car seats expire after 6 years. Check the stickers on the frame of your car seat for the manufacture date.
Read your car seat user manual to learn about the specific features of your car seat and how to install it correctly.
Remember, the best car seat is the one that is the right size for your child, fits appropriately in your vehicle, and one that you are able to install correctly every time!
Regarding the safe disposal of used fire extinguishers, we encourage residents to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
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 match 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.
For information on fire extinguisher training, please contact
Fire Prevention (512) 930-8092
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.
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.
Fireworks in Georgetown
Fireworks are illegal within the city limits of Georgetown
Only professional, licensed fireworks displays are allowed.
The Georgetown Fire Department reminds everyone that City of Georgetown Ordinance prohibits the use of fireworks.
The Georgetown Police Department will enforce the fireworks ordinance. This ordinance applies to all areas within the city limits and the unincorporated areas within 5,000 feet of the city limits as stated in the City of Georgetown Code of Ordinances (Chapter 8.08 Fireworks). Maximum fine for this offense is $2,000. For more information, contact the Georgetown Police Department at 512-930-3510.
To report the illegal use of fireworks in your area, call the Georgetown Police Department at 512-930-3510 ext. 0. Please have the violator’s full address for the police department when making your call.
Williamson County has created an interactive map to assist in determining the firework regulations in your area. To search your area for the latest information, please follow this link Williamson County Firework Ordinance Map.
In 2020, an annual report released by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) stated eighteen people died and over 15,600 sustained injuries serious enough to require emergency medical care after a firework-related incident. There were an estimated 1,600 emergency department-treated injuries associated with firecrackers and 900 with sparklers. Adults aged 25 to 44 years of age account of 35% of the injuries. Children younger than 15 years of age accounted for 18% of the injuries.
Sparklers are HOT, reaching temperatures of nearly 2,000 degrees – hot enough to melt some metals. Sparklers can quickly ignite clothing, and children have received severe burns from dropping sparklers on their feet. According to data provided by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), sparklers account for more than one-quarter of firework-related injuries requiring an emergency room visits. Approximately 25% of all sparkler-related injuries reported each year involve children under the age of 10 years old.
Additionally, fireworks cause an average of 19,500 fires each year, including 1,900 structure fires, 500 vehicle fires and nearly 17,100 outside and other fires.
WHAT IS THE DEFINITION OF A FIREWORK?
Common Definition: A firework is any device that can be used or intends to produce a striking display such as light, noise, or smoke, or a combination of those, by the combustion of explosive or flammable composition.
City Ordinance Definition: “Fireworks” means and includes any firecrackers, cannon crackers, skyrockets, torpedoes, Roman candles, sparklers, squibs, fire balloons, star shells, gerbs, or any other substance in whatever combination by any designated name intended for use in obtaining visible or audible pyrotechnic display and includes all articles or substances within the commonly accepted meaning of fireworks, whether specifically designated and defined in this chapter or not
The exceptions defined by the U.S. Department of Transportation do not classify the following items as common fireworks, and their use is allowed by the City of Georgetown Ordinance:
- Snake, GlowWorms – Pressed pellet of pyrotechnic composition that produces a large, snakelike ash upon burning. The ash expands in length as the pellet burns. These devices may not contain mercuric thiocyanate.
- Smoke Device – Tube or sphere containing pyrotechnic composition that, upon ignition, produces white or colored smoke as the primary effect.
- Wire Sparkler – Wire coated with pyrotechnic composition that produces a shower of sparks upon ignition. These items may not contain magnesium and must not exceed 100g of composition per item. Devices containing any chlorate or perchlorate salts may not exceed 5g of composition per item.
- Trick Noisemaker – Item produces a small report intended to surprise the user. These devices include:
- Party Popper – (also known by other names such as “Champagne Party Poppers,” and “Party Surprise Poppers,”) Small plastic or paper item containing not more than .25mg of pyrotechnic composition that is friction-sensitive. A string protruding from the device is pulled to ignite it, expelling paper streams and producing a small report.
- Booby Trap – Small tube with string protruding from both ends, similar to a party popper in design. The ends of the string are pulled to ignite the friction-sensitive composition, producing a small report.
- Snapper – Small, paper-wrapped item containing a minute quantity of explosive composition coated on small bits of sand. When dropped, the device explodes, producing a small report.
- Trick Match – Kitchen or book match that has been coated with a small quantity of explosive or pyrotechnic composition. Upon ignition of the match, a small report or a shower of sparks is produced.
- Cigarette Load – Small wooden peg that has been coated with a small quantity of explosive or pyrotechnic composition. Upon ignition of the match, a small report or a shower of sparks is produced.
- Auto Burglar Alarm – A tube which contains pyrotechnic composition that produces a loud whistle and/or smoke when ignited. A small quantity of explosive, not exceeding 50mg, also may be used to produce a small report. A squib is used to ignite the device.
WHAT IS THE PENALTY FOR VIOLATING THE CITY ORDINANCE PROHIBITING FIREWORKS?
- Explosives and fireworks located within the fire limits are declared to be a public nuisance.
- Any person violating any portion or provision of the specific article of this ordinance shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be punished by the assessment of fines up to $2,000.
- Any parent or guardian of any minor child below the age of 17 who permits or allows such minor child to use, discharge, ignite, detonate, fire or otherwise set in action any fireworks shall be punished by the assessment of fines up to $2,000.
This video is intended to convey safety messages in a light hearted entertaining way. It is not intended for children.
(Adults should play an important role in reinforcing safety messages for children.)
In the event of a fire, remember that every second counts, so you and your family must always be prepared. Escape plans help you get out of your home quickly. In less than 30 seconds, a small flame can get completely out of control and turn into a major fire. It only takes minutes for a house to fill with thick black smoke and become engulfed in flames.
Prepare and practice your fire escape plan twice a year with everyone in your household, including children and people with disabilities.
It’s also a good idea to practice your plan with overnight guests. Some tips to consider when preparing your escape plan include:
Draw a map of each level of your home and show all doors and windows. Find two ways to get out of each room. Make sure all doors and windows that lead outside open easily.
Only purchase collapsible escape ladders evaluated by a recognized testing laboratory. Use the ladder only in a real emergency.
Teach children how to escape on their own in case you cannot help them.
Have a plan for everyone in your home who has a disability.
Practice your fire escape plan at night and during the daytime.
Once Out, Stay Out
Remember to escape first and then notify the fire department using the 9-1-1 system or proper local emergency number in your area. Never go back into a burning building for any reason. Teach children not to hide from firefighters. If someone is missing, or pets are trapped inside your home, tell the firefighters right away. They are equipped to perform rescues safely.
Georgetown Fire Department receives regular inquiries concerning the proper waste of certain materials, including household hazardous waste, expired medications, sharps/needles, and fire extinguishers.
While the Georgetown Fire Department is not directly responsible for the collection or wasting of such materials, we have provided information and links below to help direct our citizens with these questions.
Household Hazardous Waste
Recycling and Solid Waste Services offers a number of programs to help residents dispose of household hazardous waste safely. Additionally, they have information on their site on how to identify hazardous waste and how to get to specialized facilities that will help you dispose of them.
The Medications Collection Kiosk is located at the Public Safety Office and Training Center (PSOTC) (3500 D.B. Wood Rd, Georgetown TX 78628) in the main lobby area.
We highly suggest calling the PSOTC main office prior to visiting to ensure the box is not full at (512) 930-0420. (If full, the Williamson County Sheriff’s Department also hosts a Collection Kiosk at 508 S Rock St. To contact their office, please call (512) 943-1300.)
Many citizens routinely use injectable medications and end up with needles and syringes. There are a couple of options regarding proper disposal of medical sharps:
1. Most pharmacies sell prepaid mail ready sharps containers that can hold up to 300 syringes for as little as seven ($7) dollars. This is a great option that provides a cost-effective and safe solution to rid of your medical sharps.
2. Under Texas law from the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality (TCEQ) you may also dispose of your medical sharps in your household trash, utilizing a hard plastic or metal container with a tightly secured lid. Click the button below to learn more about making a sharps container for your home.
We kindly ask that you refrain from taking your used sharps to the Fire Stations for disposal.
With proper care, fire extinguishers should last at least 10 to 12 years. Unfortunately, you cannot simply throw them away because they’re considered hazardous materials. After all, high-pressure chemicals can be very dangerous if mishandled.
We highly encourage residents to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for discharging and recycling guidance.
Homeowners’ Insurance and Fire Services
The City of Georgetown and Williamson County Emergency Services District No. 8 have earned an ISO Class 2/2Y rating effective November 1, 2020.
Residents living within the city limits of Georgetown and Williamson County Emergency Service District No. 8 (WCESD #8) may be eligible for a reduction in their homeowner insurance premiums as a result of its Insurance Services Office (ISO)’s Public Protection Classification (PPC) 2/2Y rating. Call your insurance agent to find out more. Should you have questions or need additional assistance, contact the Georgetown Fire Department at 512-930-3473 (FIRE) or firstname.lastname@example.org
With a split Class 2/2Y, all class-rated properties located within 1000 feet of a fire hydrant or water supply suction point AND within 5 road miles of a fire station will use Class 2. All class-rated properties located farther than 1000 feet of a fire hydrant or water supply suction point AND within 5 road miles of a fire station will use Class 2Y.
All properties located farther than 5 road miles from a fire station will use Class 10.
ISO is the leading supplier of statistical, actuarial, and underwriting information for and about the property/casualty insurance industry. The ISO (PPC) ratings for a community provide the foundation on which most insurers build their coverage programs. The quality of the fire department, the water supply and hydrant locations, the communication systems, the building codes, and the building inspection programs determine a community’s rating. ISO ratings range from 1 to 10, with 1 being the most favorable. Property insurance companies use ISO ratings to set insurance premium rates: the lower the ISO rating, the lower the insurance premium.
The following document has additional information pertaining to City of Georgetown’s and WCESD #8 ISO rating.
ISO Fire Hydrant Information
Click on the interactive ArcGIS map showing hydrant locations in the area.
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 at the Public Safety Operations and Training Center, Fire Administration Office at 3500 D.B. Wood Rd. or call (512) 930-FIRE (3473) for any additional questions, including pricing. Office hours are Monday – Friday 8:00 am -5:00 pm.
**Please note only cash or check are accepted for Knox Box purchases.**
For additional literature, visit the Knox-Box website.