Saturday, June 8, 2013

It's Wildfire Season, Prepare Accordingly

While some of the country is battling massive rainstorms and flooding, for folks in the west, it is time to get ready for wildfire season.  Here's some tips:

  • If you have a lawn, keep it mowed and watered (a tall, dried out lawn is much more likely to catch fire and/or help encourage a fire that is heading towards your property).
  • Keep the land around your home/detached garage/out buildings/propane tank/etc. cleared (this will serve as a buffer against wildfires).
  • Keep your gutters and roof clean and clear of all debris.
  • Don't store firewood next to your house/garage/outbuilding; you should have a separate wood storage area away from the house for this.
  • Dead or dying trees/shrubs/other vegetation should be cleared immediately (not only is this a hazard during wind/ice storms but dead trees easily fuel wildfires as well).
  • Have a plan to evacuate your home in the event of a wildfire (this includes having a BOB on hand as well as a few planned routes out of your neighborhood).
  • Be able to evacuate via a variety of means in the event of a wildfire (by car, by motorcycle, by bicycle, on foot, etc).
  • Have a plan for evacuating your pets and livestock in the event of a wildfire.
  • Consider fire-resistant landscaping around your home.
  • Use common sense when burning outdoors (ie: if it is dry and windy, reconsider your need to burn the brush pile or have an outdoor barbecue).
  • Be sure your children don't have access to matches and lighters (and be sure older teens know when it is safe/not safe to burn outdoors).
  • Make sure your chimney has been cleaned recently and it has a spark arrester on it.
  • Have the means to fight a small fire yourself (fire extinguisher, long garden hose, buckets for water, rakes and shovels, etc).
  • If you are living in an area that is prone to wildfires/where an active wildfire is burning, stay tuned to local news for info on when and if to evacuate.
  • Make sure the fire department can respond to your home (keep driveways clear, make sure your home is well marked, make sure your driveway is wide enough for emergency vehicles, etc).
  • If you must evacuate and have time, be sure to close and lock all windows and doors, water your roof and lawn, shut off your gas or propane, etc).
  • If you see a fire, call 911 and report it immediately; you can always cancel the response if necessary, but if you are fighting a fire, you want professional back-up on its way ASAP.

No comments:

Post a Comment