CodeRED system attributed to saving Texas couple’s lives
A Texas couple attributes the CodeRED Weather Warning system for helping save their lives after they received a severe thunderstorm warning notification alerting them not only to the impending storm, but also that their home was on fire. According to the Denton Fire Department in Texas, a series of severe weather moved through the area July 30, 2014 and into the early morning hours of July 31.
Fire investigators detected 99 cloud-to-ground lightning strikes within 1-mile of the couple’s Denton home. Smoke alarms inside the home did not engage because the fire started in the roof, not yet making its way down to the area to initiate the detector’s warning. After receiving the second CodeRED Weather Warning call, the couple realized smoke was pouring through their air conditioning vents.
The couple said the call gave them the precious extra time to secure themselves and their pets to safely escape from their burning home. “We are safe and sound because of CodeRED; we’re so grateful. We’ve always been thankful the City of Denton provides this system and even more so now that it saved our lives. It’s an amazing service. Early warning is invaluable,” said homeowner Lisa Allen.
In conjunction with other warning technologies, the City of Denton signed on for CodeRED Weather Warning seven years ago to proactively provide their residents automated warnings of severe thunderstorms, tornadoes and flash floods as soon as a bulletin is issued by the National Weather Service. “If it hadn’t been for CodeRED, the couple very well may not be here today. By the time the fire worked its way down to the smoke alarms, it may have been too late,” said Michael Penaluna, Emergency Management Coordinator for the Denton Fire Department.
According to officials, after the storm hit the Allen’s residence, it moved through Denton to the east and is believed to have caused two additional structure fires from lightning strikes. Over the past seven years, the City of Denton has successfully used the CodeRED system hundreds of times to deliver community and staff messages. In addition, the CodeRED Weather Warning system has delivered more than half a million early warning calls on more than 400 separate occasions to Denton residents in advance of severe weather.