September Industry Highlight: Wildfire Prevention
Learning to live with wildfire means taking the necessary steps to protect your home and family. Homes built to modern building codes with a well-maintained defensible space have a much better chance of surviving wildfire.
KEY ELEMENTS OF A DEFENSIBLE SPACE
- Keep your gutters and roofs clear of leaves and debris.
- Maintain a 5-foot noncombustible zone around your home and deck.
- Break up fuel by creating space between plants, and between the ground and the branches of trees.
- Mow grass to a height of 4 inches.
- Keep mulch away from the house.
- Bark mulch helps plants retain water but ignites and becomes flying embers during a wind-driven fire.
- During a wildfire move anything burnable—such as patio furniture or gas BBQ tanks—30 feet away from structures.
Now that your home is fire ready, it’s time to prepare your family. Having a plan in place helps get your family to safety in the event of a fire.
- Create a Family Disaster Plan with meeting locations and communication plans. Practice it regularly!
- Have fire extinguishers on hand and train your family how to use them.
- Make sure your family knows where your gas, electric and water main shut-off controls are and how to use them.
- Plan several different evacuation routes.
- Appoint an out-of-area friend or relative as a point of contact so you can communicate with family members who have relocated.
- Evacuate as soon as you are set!
- Have goggles and a dry bandana or particle mask handy.
- Assemble an emergency supply kit that includes necessary items, such as a battery powered radio, spare batteries, emergency contact numbers, and ample drinking water.
- Keep an extra emergency supply kit in your car in case you can’t get to your home because of fire.
- Stay tuned to your TV or local radio stations for updates, or check the fire department website.
- Remain close to your house, drink plenty of water and keep an eye on your family and pets until you are ready to leave.
To learn more, visit the California Fire Safe Council website or read the CalFire Read, Set, Go Wildfire Action Plan.