The TCEQ Outdoor Burning Rule first prohibits outdoor burning anywhere in Texas, and then allows exceptions for specific situations in which burning is necessary or does not pose a threat to the environment. The rule also prescribes conditions that must be met to protect the environment and avoid other adverse impacts when burning is allowed. If burning seems necessary, but the situation does not fit an exception stated in the rule, then it is possible to request a special authorization to conduct burning from the TCEQ.



    If you have any concerns or questions regarding outdoor burning, please call the Henderson County Fire Marshal's Office at 903-675-6157. Thank you.


    If you hear the outdoor warning siren, that means that something life-threating is happening and you should immediately go indoors and get more information. Check with your local news agency or visit this site for news updates. Majority of activated sirens sound for tornadoes headed towards the local area or severe storms with winds that exceed 70 mph.


    In the event of a tornado:

    • Go to a pre-designated area such as a storm shelter, safe room, basement, or the lowest building level. If there is no basement, go to the center of a small interior room on the lowest level (closet, interior hallway) away from corners, windows, doors, and outside walls. Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside.
    • Put a helmet on to protect against flying debris (such as a bicycle helmet). Get under a sturdy table and use your arms to protect your head and neck.
    • Put on sturdy shoes.
    • Do not go near or open windows.


    If you are not in a sturdy building, there is no single research-based recommendation for what last-resort action to take because many factors can affect your decision. Possible actions include:

    • Immediately get into a vehicle, buckle your seat belt and try to drive to the closest sturdy shelter. If your vehicle is hit by flying debris while you are driving, pull over and park.
    • Take cover in a stationary vehicle. Put the seat belt on and cover your head with your arms and a blanket, coat or other cushion if possible.
    • Lie in an area noticeably lower than the level of the roadway and cover your head with your arms and a blanket, coat or other cushion if possible.


    In all situations:

    • Do not get under an overpass or bridge. You are safer in a low, flat location.
    • Never try to outrun a tornado in urban or congested areas in a car or truck. Instead, leave the vehicle immediately for safe shelter.
    • Watch out for flying debris. Flying debris from tornadoes causes most fatalities and injuries.

    A small fire can grow into a deadly one within one or two minutes. To help prevent a tragedy, closely inspect your home to eliminate potential hazards. Prepare your home for an emergency, and teach your family about the dangers of fire and how to escape.


    Put a smoke alarm on every level of your home, outside each sleeping area, and in every bedroom.


    • Smoke alarms can be battery-operated or electrically hardwired in your home and are available at a variety of price points.
    • If you have hearing problems, use alarms with flashing strobe lights and vibration.
    • Test smoke alarms every month. Replace batteries once a year, even if alarms are hardwired.
    • Test your smoke alarms at night to see if your child will wake up and respond to the alarm. Children sleep more deeply and may not wake up. If your child does not wake up to the alarm, try an alarm where you can program your voice to alert him or her.
    • Mount smoke alarms high on walls or ceilings since smoke rises. Ceiling-mounted alarms should be installed at least 4 inches away from the nearest wall. Wall-mounted alarms should be installed 4 to 12 inches away from the ceiling.
    • Replace all smoke alarms every 10 years.
    • Consider installing both ionization alarms, which are better at sensing flaming fires, and photoelectric alarms, which are better at sensing slow, smoky fires, or dual sensor alarms.
    • Consider installing a home sprinkler system.


    Plan and practice several escape routes and a safe place to meet outside.


    • Plan and practice two escape routes out of each room of the house. It is important to have an alternate escape route in case one is blocked by fire.
    • Have a designated person to help young children and others who might have difficulty escaping.
    • Fire drills should be practiced at least twice a year. Home fires and home fire-related deaths are more likely to occur during cold-weather months, December through February.
    • Practice your escape plan at night to see if your child awakes to the smoke alarms.
    • Designate an outside meeting place, so all members of the family can be accounted for quickly. Once you are outside, call the fire department or 911 from a cell phone or neighbor’s phone.


    Eliminate other potential hazards.


    • Keep matches, lighters, and gasoline locked away and out of children’s reach. Keep flammable items such as clothing, furniture, newspapers or magazines at least three feet away from the fireplace, heater or radiator.
    • Store all flammable liquids such as gasoline outside of the home.
    • Place space heaters at least 3 feet from anything that can catch fire such as curtains or papers.
    • Always turn space heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
    • Plug an electric space heater into an outlet with enough capacity. Never plug it into an extension cord.
    • Place covers over unused electrical outlets and avoid plugging several appliance cords into the same electrical socket.
    • Replace old or frayed electrical wires and appliance cords, and keep them on top of, not beneath rugs.
    • Establish a “Kid-Free Zone” around fireplaces, including gas fireplaces, and wood burning stoves. Glass fire screens can get very hot.
    • Never leave a burning candle unattended. Place candles in a safe location away from combustible materials and where children or pets cannot tip them over.
    • Have chimneys cleaned and inspected once a year.



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