Wildfire Disaster Preparedness

BEFORE A FIRE

  • Prepare an emergency kit and make a family communications plan. (Click Here)
  • Make sure your home is sided and landscaped to resist fire. Clear items that will burn from around the house, including wood piles, lawn furniture, barbecue grills, tarp coverings, etc.
  • Clean roof and gutters of dry debris regularly
  • Keep chimneys and stovepipes clean and in perfect working order. (Contact your local fire department for specifications.)
  • Screen exterior openings to floors, roof and attic.
  • Install a dual-sensor smoke alarm on each level of your home, especially near bedrooms; test monthly and change the batteries at least once each year.
  • Teach family members location and use of fire extinguishers
  • Keep handy household items that can be used as fire tools: a rake, axe, handsaw or chain saw, bucket and shovel.
  • Keep a ladder that will reach the roof.
  • Consider installing protective shutters or heavy fire-resistant drapes.

Water Planning

  • Identify outside water sources: small pond, cistern, well, swimming pool, or hydrant.
  • Have a garden hose long enough to reach each area of the home and outbuildings on the property.
  • Install freeze-proof exterior outlets on at least two sides of the home and near other outbuildings and additional outlets at least 50 feet from the home.
  • Consider portable gasoline powered pump or generator in case electrical power is lost.

Reduce Your Wildfire Risk: Create Defensible Space

Other Resources:

  • www.firewise.org – Firewise workshops are offered for free all across the nation in communities large and small and free Firewise materials can be obtained easily by anyone interested.
  • Wildfire Research Fact Sheets produced by the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety and National Fire Protection Association:
    • Under-Eave Construction – “… Neglecting the under-eave area of a house increases susceptibility to heat from flames, which can become trapped, allowing fire to spread through attic vents and into the attic…”
    • Attic and Crawl Space Vents – Prevent ember entry through attic and crawl space vents by installing the recommended mesh screening and eliminating storage.
    • Decks – Attached decks can potentially spread fire to the rest of the house when ignited during a wildfire. Reduce your vulnerability with these recommendations.
    • Fencing – Non-combustible fencing products can reduce potential home ignitions from wild fires.
    • Roofing – Roofs are a highly vulnerable part of a home, especially during wildfires. Reduce your risk with these tips.
    • Coatings – The use of certain coatings on the exterior of your home can provide added protection against radiant heat and flame exposure for homes, especially on those that have combustible siding products installed.