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The Denison Fire Department is considered a combination department consisting of a full-time chief and 36 volunteers. The fire department responds to just over 110 square miles of first response area and another 117 square miles for automatic mutual aid. The fire department operates out of one fire station with several pieces of apparatus which include a 2004 Pierce Enforcer Pumper, 1999 Toyne Tanker-Pumper, 1994 Smeal Aerial, 2004 Ford Excursion, three quick attack units, a heavy rescue and equipment truck.

The fire department provides fire suppression services as well as technical rescues such as vehicle accidents, confined space, high angle and trench rescue, hazardous materials, and basic water search and recovery. The fire department is also very active in fire prevention and code enforcement.

DVFD suggests following these tips to make your holiday one worth remembering for all of the right reasons!

Trees:

  • When purchasing an artificial tree, look for the label "Fire Resistant." Although this label does not mean the tree won't catch fire, it does indicate the tree will resist burning and should extinguish quickly.
  • When purchasing a live tree, check for freshness. A fresh tree is green, needles are hard to pull from branches and when bent between your fingers, needles do not break. The trunk butt of a fresh tree is sticky with resin, and when tapped on the ground, the tree should not lose many needles.
  • When setting up a tree at home, place it away from fireplaces and radiators. Because heated rooms dry live trees out rapidly, be sure to keep the stand filled with water. Place the tree out of the way of traffic and do not block doorways.

Lights:

  • Indoors or outside, use only lights that have been tested for safety by a recognized testing laboratory, which indicates conformance with safety standards. Use only lights that have fused plugs.
  • Check each set of lights, new or old, for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections, and throw out damaged sets. Always replace burned-out bulbs promptly with the same wattage bulbs.
  • Use no more than three standard-size sets of lights per single extension cord. Make sure the extension cord is rated for the intended use.
  • Never use electric lights on a metallic tree. The tree can become charged with electricity from faulty lights, and a person touching a branch could be electrocuted.
  • Before using lights outdoors, check labels to be sure they have been certified for outdoor use.
  • Fasten outdoor lights securely to trees, house walls, or other firm supports to protect the lights from wind damage. Use only insulated staples to hold strings in place, not nails or tacks. Or, run strings of lights through hooks (available at hardware stores).
  • Turn off all lights when you go to bed or leave the house. 
  • For added electric shock protection, plug outdoor electric lights and decorations into circuits protected by ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs). Portable outdoor GFCIs can be purchased where electrical supplies are sold. GFCIs can be installed permanently to household circuits by a qualified electrician.
  • When in doubt, throw them out. If the lights are in questionable condition, throw them away.

Decorations:

  • Use only non-combustible or flame-resistant materials to trim a tree. Choose tinsel or artificial icicles of plastic or nonleaded metals. Leaded materials are hazardous if ingested by children.
  • Never use lighted candles on a tree or near other evergreens. Always use non-flammable holders, and place candles where they will not be knocked down.
  • In homes with small children, take special care to avoid decorations that are sharp or breakable, keep trimmings with small removable parts out of the reach of children to avoid the child swallowing or inhaling small pieces, and avoid trimmings that resemble candy or food that may tempt a child to eat them.
  • Wear gloves to avoid eye and skin irritation while decorating with spun glass "angel hair." Follow container directions carefully to avoid lung irritation while decorating with artificial snow sprays.
  • Burning candles

Fireplaces:

  • Use care with "fire salts," which produce colored flames when thrown on wood fires. They contain heavy metals that can cause intense gastrointestinal irritation and vomiting if eaten. Keep them away from children.
  • Do not burn wrapping papers in the fireplace. A flash fire may result as wrappings ignite suddenly and burn intensely.

Candles:

    • Always keep a burning candle within sight.
    • Extinguish all candles when leaving a room or before going to sleep.
    • Never burn a candle on or near anything that can catch fire.
    • Keep candles out of the reach of children and pets.
    • Trim candlewicks to ¼ inch each time before burning.
    • Always use a candleholder specifically designed for candle use.
    • Be sure the candleholder is placed on a stable, heat-resistant surface.
    • Keep the wax pool free of wick trimmings, matches and debris at all times.
    • Don't burn a candle all the way down. Extinguish the flame if it comes too close to the holder or container.
    • Never touch a burning candle or move a votive or container candle when the wax is liquid.
    • Use a candle snuffer to extinguish a candle.
    • Make sure a candle is completely extinguished and the wick ember is no longer glowing before leaving the room.
    • Extinguish a candle if it smokes, flickers repeatedly, or the flame becomes too high.
    • Never use a candle as a night light.

 ***Nobody ever lights a candle to burn their house down, but it happens thousands of times every year and results in 150 deaths, over 1200 injuries, and an estimated $539 million in estimated direct property loss.***

Remember, if there is a fire; please don't waste valuable time trying to fight it yourself. Never risk your life to protect property. If you have any doubt, just get out and stay out and leave the firefighting to us. Call 9-1-1 immediately from a safe area.

Practice fire safety during the holidays!  If you need any assistance give us a call, we are happy to help.

The City of Denison has enacted the 2006 International Fire Code.  Should you have questions regarding this, please give us a call.

Interested in becoming a volunteer firefighter?  Please give us a call or email:  firechief@denisonia.com

Application for Volunteer Firefighter

The fire department operates a mobile fire safety house, Sparky robot and an Adopt-a-Firefighter program. The fire department also enforces the 2003 International Fire Code. The Denison Fire Department has a very active Cadet program.  Applications for the fire department are acted upon every March and September; and for the Explorers twice a year.

Any questions may be directed to Chief Cory Snowgren at (712) 263-2806 or email: firechief@denisonia.com.

Click here to watch a video of University of Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz

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