Bees are a wonderful part of nature, but if you are experiencing bee swarms consider getting help with bee removal. Below is a list of bee relocation services who may be able to assist, if you have a bee swarming problem.
|Bee Relocation Services||Contact Details|
|Bee Rescue Swarm Removal||brsr.org|
|Just-In Time Apiaries||512-787-7918 (firstname.lastname@example.org)|
|Sarah Denman||512-627-3881 (email@example.com)|
|Jason Rask||BeehivesToGo.com 512-924-6427|
|Williamson County Area Beekeepers Associationfirstname.lastname@example.org|
*If you know of a bee removal service who would like to be added to this list, they may submit their information to email@example.com.
The Georgetown Fire Department is not endorsing any individual or business.
Severe Weather Information
Severe Weather Season is Here! Preparation is Our Best Defense! Severe weather season can bring frightening storms, incredible damage and change lives in the blink of an eye. The best way to meet violent Texas weather is to be prepared. KnoWhat2Do has a number of steps you can take to help each member of the family know what to do when storms are coming.
Knowing your hazards is just one component of preparedness- the next step is to ACT! Make sure each member of the family knows how to use the following resources:
Emergency Notification System
NOAA All Hazards Weather Radio (NWR) Listen for emergency information.
Emergency Alert System (EAS) Tune into your radio for instructions.
Outdoor Warning System Pay attention to sirens. Sirens may be used for all-hazard notification. When sirens are sounded, go indoors and tune in to local news and radio programs to understand the nature of the emergency.
TV Broadcasts Watch for emergency interruptions and tune into news stations.
If you live in a trailer or other housing susceptible to tornadoes or high winds, consider your evacuation plan.
Creating an Evacuation Plan:
- Plan places to meet within and outside of your immediate neighborhood.
- Keep a half tank of gas in your car at all times in case you need to evacuate.
- Familiarize yourself with alternate routes out of your area.
- If you don’t have a car, plan other means of transportation.
A tornado is one of nature’s most powerful and destructive forces.
• Prepare for a tornado by gathering emergency supplies including food, water, medications, batteries, flashlights, important documents, road maps, and a full tank of gasoline.
• When a tornado approaches, anyone in its path should take shelter indoors—preferably in a basement or an interior first-floor room or hallway.
• Avoid windows and seek additional protection by getting underneath large, solid pieces of furniture.
• Avoid automobiles and mobile homes, which provide almost no protection from tornadoes.
• Those caught outside should lie flat in a depression or on other low ground and wait for the storm to pass.
Here is an interesting website to use for the history of tornado sightings.
Do’s and Don’ts When Faced with Fire Emergencies
Emergencies – Calling the Fire Department
Georgetown has an enhanced 9-1-1 system. This means that the 9-1-1 operator (referred to as the “dispatcher”) can identify through the system’s computer, the phone number and address of the calling party. This assists in timely dispatching of police or fire units to the emergency scene.
Common fire emergencies include structure fires, brush fires, and car fires. Common medical emergencies include heart attack, car accidents, respiratory difficulty, seizures and ill persons.
- When a call is received by the 9-1-1 dispatcher, they will say, “What is your emergency, police, fire or medical?” The caller should tell the dispatcher which type of emergency they are reporting or give a description of the problem, allowing the dispatcher to decide how to route the call.
Whenever a person calls 9-1-1, their message needs to be clear. The dispatcher will ask you a series of questions and verify the address. They also need to stay on the phone until the person in the 9-1-1 center has released them from the conversation.
The dispatcher will begin to dispatch emergency units immediately. If it is a medical emergency, the dispatcher then will transfer the caller to the medic dispatcher sitting nearby. The medic dispatcher is specially trained for medical emergencies to provide self-help instructions to the caller while units are en route.
In Georgetown, the closest fire engine or ladder truck will respond to the call. The EMS system is handled by Williamson County EMS, which Stations 3 and 4 house.
All Georgetown firefighters receive medical training and, at a minimum, are EMTs (Emergency Medical Technicians) and we have several paramedics.
Try to stay calm. State what kind of emergency it is — fire, car accident, heart attack, etc. Then tell the dispatcher where the incident is.
Stay on the phone. The dispatcher may ask more questions or want you to stay on the line. Emergency units already have been dispatched even while you are talking with the dispatcher.
Children should be taught their home address and telephone number as soon as possible. In most cases, when a caller dials 9-1-1, the address and phone number of the caller’s location is displayed to the 9-1-1 dispatcher. However, this is not always verified because of information that may be called in from cellular or mobile phones.
When the fire department responds to a given location, it may be delayed in arriving if the address is not clearly seen from the street. Although it’s fairly easy to spot a column of smoke from a house fire, it’s difficult to see someone’s heart attack from the street. In a medical emergency, firefighters may waste critical time having to knock on several doors to try and find a correct address. Make sure your address is clearly visible from the street with numbers at least three or four inches in height and reflective, if possible.
This problem is compounded in large condominium and apartment complexes. Arriving at a correct address, the engine company finds a huge residential facility with many buildings in the complex. Make sure large identification lettering or numbering is mounted on the side of the building. This is as important as the street address. It would be even better if someone could be standing near the street to direct the fire units to the appropriate apartment.
When an emergency vehicle is heard and/or seen, drivers should carefully pull their vehicle to the right of the road and stop. If they are at an intersection, or stopped in traffic when they see lights or hear a siren, drivers should remain stopped and wait until the emergency vehicles have passed. Do not make quick or erratic maneuvers. The law is very specific; drivers must yield the right-of-way to an emergency vehicle. Drivers also should stay 500 feet behind emergency vehicles.
A crash involving an emergency vehicle delays help to those who need it. Firefighters are careful to avoid vehicle collisions by driving slowly when traveling against traffic, or coming to a complete stop at intersections. The cooperation of all vehicles on the roadway is required.
Be careful when driving by or around a motor vehicle accident or any situation where emergency vehicles are parked and the firefighters are working. Resist the impulse to “rubber-neck.” This can cause additional collisions.
Even though fire apparatus are placed to protect firefighters, tragically, sometimes emergency crews have been hit and killed by passing vehicles.
Facts about Africanized Honey Bees
In the years past, we have had reports throughout the United States of Africanized honey bees, but in most all cases, they are simply a variety of European honey bees. Below we will share with you some of the facts about bees, but first we need you to understand one very important fact: You can not determine if a bee is Africanized by simply looking at the bee with the naked eye.
In order to determine if a bee is Africanized or not, we must send it to Texas A & M for examination. So if someone tells you that the bees are Africanized, take caution and treat them with respect, but realize that the chances are very low that is possible.
Africanized honey bees were imported to Brazil in 1956 to enhance honey production in the tropics. Some of the bees escaped into the wild and have gradually moved towards North America.
Africanized honey bees are the temperamental cousin of the more common European honey bee found in Texas. They often are called “killer bees,” but in reality their stings are less potent and painful than the common bee sting. Contrary to portrayal in the movies, these bees do not swoop down in mass causing death and destruction. They do defend their nesting sites very aggressively, sometimes stinging their victims hundreds of times.
It is impossible for the average person to tell the difference between an Africanized honey bee and the common European honey bee. Only an expert with sophisticated lab equipment is able to distinguish between the two. Those at highest risk are individuals who are allergic to bee stings and pets that are penned or tied up near honey bee hives.
Do’s and Don’ts
DO check your property regularly for bee colonies. Honey bees nest in a wide variety of places, especially Africanized honey bees. Check animal burrows, water meter boxes, overturned flower pots, trees and shrubs.
DO keep pets and children indoors when using weed eaters, hedge clippers, tractor power mowers, chain saws, etc. Bee attacks frequently occur when a person is mowing the lawn or pruning shrubs and inadvertently strikes a bee’s nest — any bee or wasp’s normal reaction.
DO avoid excessive motion when near a colony. Bees are much more likely to respond to an object in motion than a stationary one.
DON’T pen, tie or tether animals near bee hives or nests.
DON’T destroy bee colonies or hives, especially with pesticides. Honey bees are a vital link to U.S. agriculture. Each year, pollination by honey bees add at least $10 billion to the value of more than 90 crops. They also produce about $150 million worth of honey each year.
DON’T remove bees yourself. If you want bees removed, call a professional. Here are some commonly asked questions on bees and bee removal.
What to do if you are attacked:
- Run as quickly as you can away from the bees.
- Do not flail or swing your arms at them, as this may further annoy them.
- Because bees target the head and eyes, cover your head as much as you can without slowing your escape.
- Get to the shelter or closest house or car as quickly as possible. Don’t worry if a few bees become trapped in your home. If several bees follow you into your car, drive about a quarter of a mile and let the bees out of the car.
When to call the Fire Department
Call the fire department only when emergency medical services are needed. If someone has been stung by many bees at once or has an allergic reaction to a bee sting, call 9-1-1.
Call 9-1-1 if someone has become trapped in a building or car with lots of bees. Fire trucks are equipped with a foam that can be sprayed on the bees to drown them. Do not call the fire department to remove bee colonies or hives.
How to treat bee stings:
Treating stings from Africanized bees is much the same as treating a common bee sting. If a person is stung:
- Keep the affected area below the heart.
- If the sting was by a bee and the stinger is still in the skin, remove it by gently scraping against it with your fingernail, a credit card or a knife. Be careful not to squeeze the stinger. The venom sac still will be attached and you will inject additional venom into the area. Be sure to remove the venom sac.
- Apply cold compresses to relieve pain and swelling but do not apply ice directly.
- If it becomes difficult to breathe, call 9-1-1. Itching should quit within a few hours. If it persists beyond two days, or if signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction occur after an insect bite you should be seen by a doctor.
The signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction include:
- Burning pain and itching at the bite site
- Itching on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet
- Itching on the neck and the groin
- General body swelling
- A nettle like rash over the entire body
- Difficulty breathing
- Faintness, weakness
With colder temperatures in the upcoming months the City of Georgetown Fire Department would like to remind the citizens to use caution when heating their homes.
Here are some tips to remember for winter home Fire Safety:
- Do not overload electrical wiring or outlets. We have experienced home fires from overloaded electrical wiring powering portable space heaters.
- Do not use your stove to heat your home. This is a dangerous situation that not only increases the chance of a fire but it will fill your home with deadly carbon monoxide. An unattended open flame is a disaster waiting to happen especially with small children at home. Using portable space heaters is safe if you keep the heater 3 feet away from combustible materials. Do not leave a space heater unattended in a child’s room. Plug the heater directly into an outlet and do not use extension cords. If the electrical breaker trips while using the heater, discontinue the use of the heater and call a qualified electrician to check your electrical system.
- Service your fireplace before use. Have your chimney inspected and cleaned at least once a year. Chimneys often become clogged with soot and other debris from birds or squirrels. Always make sure your chimney flue is open before you light your fire.
- Keeping your pets warm: Every year we see at least one fire started by heating lamps or lights that were placed in a dog house to keep the pets warm. This is a dangerous practice and we do not recommend placing heating devices within the dog house or pet container.
- Check your smoke detectors for proper operation and review your fire escape plans with your family. If you have gas fueled appliances in your home, install a carbon monoxide detector and have your heating unit checked and serviced by a qualified service company.
It is also important to make sure your pipes are wrapped well to prevent frozen pipes.
- Before winter hits, disconnect garden hoses and, if possible, use an indoor valve to shut off and drain water from pipes leading to outside faucets. This reduces the chance of freezing in the short span of pipe just inside the house.
- Insulate pipes in your home’s crawl spaces and attic, even if you live in a climate where freezing is uncommon. Exposed pipes are most susceptible to freezing. Remember: The more insulation you use, the better protected your pipes will be.
- Seal leaks that allow cold air inside where pipes are located. Look for air leaks around electrical wiring, dryer vents, and pipes, and use caulk or insulation to keep the cold out. With severe cold, even a tiny opening can let in enough cold air to cause a pipe to freeze.
Even if you’ve taken the right preventative steps, extreme weather conditions can still harm your pipes.
Here are a few more steps you can take:
- A trickle of hot and cold water might be all it takes to keep your pipes from freezing. Let warm water drip overnight, preferably from a faucet on an outside wall.
- Keep your thermostat set at the same temperature both day and night. You might be in the habit of turning down the heat when you’re asleep, but further drops in the temperature – more common overnight – could catch you off guard and freeze your pipes.
- Open cabinet doors to allow heat to get to un-insulated pipes under sinks and appliances near exterior walls.
Prevention is the key for keeping water running during the winter months,
so take precautions to see that your pipes are securely wrapped and warm.
Georgetown Fire Department provides child car seat inspections by nationally certified inspectors.
Georgetown Fire Department and Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas are working together to provide child car seat inspections. Please see the information below. Email or call to schedule a child car seat inspection.
Phone Number: 512.324.TOTS (8687)
If you are in need of a car seat inspection and cannot attend a scheduled event, inspections may be scheduled by calling Lt. Jonathan Gilliam at 512-930-8092.
For additional information on child car seat safety, visit: https://www.dshs.state.tx.us/saferiders/seats/
Many families gather in the kitchen to spend time together, but it can be one of the most hazardous rooms in the house if you don’t practice safe cooking behaviors. Cooking equipment, most often a range or stovetop, is the leading cause of reported home fires and home fire injuries in the United States. Cooking equipment is also the leading cause of unreported fires and associated injuries.
Safe Cooking Behaviors
It’s a recipe for serious injury or even death to wear loose clothing (especially hanging sleeves), walk away from a cooking pot on the stove, or leave items that can catch fire, such as potholders or paper towels, around the stove. Whether you are cooking the family holiday dinner or a snack for the children, practicing safe cooking behaviors will help keep you and your family safe
Choose the Right Equipment and Use It Properly
- Always use cooking equipment tested and approved by a recognized testing facility.
- Follow manufacturers’ instructions and code requirements when installing and operating cooking equipment.
- Plug microwave ovens and other cooking appliances directly into a wall outlet. Never use an extension cord for a cooking appliance – it can overload the circuit and cause a fire.
Watch What You Heat
- The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking.
- Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
- If you are simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you’re cooking.
- Stay alert! To prevent cooking fires, you have to be alert. You won’t be if you are sleepy, have been drinking alcohol, or have taken medicine that makes you drowsy
Keep Things That Can Catch Fire and Heat Sources Apart
- Keep anything that can catch fire – potholders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, towels, or curtains – away from your stovetop.
- Keep the stovetop, burners, and oven clean.
- Keep pets off cooking surfaces and nearby countertops to prevent them from knocking things onto the burner.
- Wear short, close-fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking. Loose clothing can dangle onto stove burners and catch fire if it comes into contact with a gas flame or electric burner.
If Your Clothes Catch Fire
If your clothes catch fire, stop, drop and roll. Stop immediately, drop to the ground and cover your face with your hands. Roll over and over or back and forth to put out the fire. Immediately cool the burn with cool water for 3 to 5 minutes and cover with a clean, dry cloth. Don’t apply creams, ointments, sprays or other home remedies.
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.
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. Continue reading “Household Hazardous Waste”
There’s nothing like outdoor grilling. It’s one of the most popular ways to cook food. But, a grill placed too close to anything that can burn is a fire hazard. They can be very hot, causing burn injuries. Follow these simple tips and you will be on the way to safe grilling.
- Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors
- The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches
- Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grill area.
- Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
- Never leave your grill unattended.
- Always make sure your gas grill lid is open before lighting it.
- There are several ways to get the charcoal ready to use. Charcoal chimney starters allow you to start the charcoal using newspaper as a fuel.
- If you use a starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire.
- Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources.
- There are also electric charcoal starters, which do not use fire. Be sure to use an extension cord for outdoor use.
- When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.
- Check the gas tank host for leaks before using it for the first time each year. Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose. A propane leak will release bubbles. If you grill has a gas leak, by smell or the soapy bubble test, and there is no flame, turn off the gas tank and grill. If the leak stops, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again. If the leak does not stop, call the fire department. If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not move the grill.
- If the flame goes out, turn the grill and gas off and wait at least 15 minutes before re-lighting it.