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wildfire readiness

Wildfire Readiness

Wildfire ReadinessWildfire Readiness.

Are you and your family prepared for a wildfire?

What to do BEFORE a Wildfire:

  • Create defensible space to separate your home from flammable vegetation and materials (minimum 30 ft)
  • Learn your local fire and building codes and weed abatement ordinances. Follow them closely.
  • Do not allow electrical wires to come in contact with any vegetation on your property. Do not trim power lines yourself. Call a professional instead.
  • Make sure there is no overhang above your chimney.
  • Prune branches lower than 8 feet from the ground.
  • Keep nearby trees healthy – trim dying branches and cut down dead trees.
  • If you stack firewood, make sure it’s a healthy distance from your home. The area surrounding your stack should be clear.
  • Keep roof surfaces clear of debris.
  • Clean chimneys and check and maintain spark arresters twice a year.
  • Keep rain gutters clear of debris.
  • Use approved fire-resistant materials when building, renovating or retrofitting structures.
  • Be sure your house numbers show clearly from the street, both day and night.
  • Combustible or flammable materials should be stored in approved containers.
  • Store all important papers in a fireproof container or keep copies at another location.
  • Make evacuation plans with family members. Include several options for an outside meeting place and contact person. Practice regularly.
  • Keep battery-operated radios and flashlights with additional fresh batteries on hand.

What to do DURING a Wildfire:

  • Stay informed – Turn on a TV or radio to get the latest emergency information.
  • If you have a ladder, prop it against the house. Make it so you and firefighters have access to the roof.
  • If hoses and adequate water are available set them up. Fill buckets with water.
  • Remove combustible material from the area surrounding the house (lawn chairs, tables, etc.).
  • Turn a light on in each room for visibility in case of smoke.
  • Open or take down flammable drapes and curtains.
  • Close all Venetian blinds and non-flammable window coverings.
  • Move upholstered furniture away from windows and sliding glass doors.
  • Be ready to evacuate all family members and pets when requested to do so.
  • Turn off air conditioning/air circulation systems.
  • Detach electrical garage doors. Back in your car and leave the keys in the ignition.
  • Secure your pets if possible.

What to do AFTER a Wildfire:

  • Check with fire officials before attempting to return to your home.
  • Use caution when re-entering a burned area – flare-ups can occur.
  • Check grounds for hot spots, smoldering stumps, and vegetation. Use your buckets of water.
  • Check the roof and exterior areas for sparks and embers.
  • Check the attic and throughout the house for hidden burning, sparks and embers.
  • Continue to check for problem areas for several days.
  • Contact 911 if any danger is perceived.

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