Fires strike fear in the heart of most of us who have experienced wildfires. We evacuated our house for the 2003 Cedar Fire and the 2007 Witch Creek Fire, and our daughter ran out of gas in the gridlock of trying to escape the 2014 San Marcos Cocos Fire, prompting my husband to go get her. Several friends had fire or smoke damage or lost homes.
Fire season now seems to be much of the year. What can we do to prepare?
Practice a fire drill at least twice a year. Have an evacuation route planned. Make sure all members of the household know where to go. Keep the evacuation plans for your children’s schools and daycare readily accessible.
Know how to contact each other. Memorize each other’s telephone numbers; it’s hard to recall what numbers are if the cell phone isn’t working and we don’t know numbers on speed dial. Everyone should know the address and home phone number as well.
Everyone in the home knows how to call for emergency help – dial 9-1-1.
Keep working fire extinguishers visible and accessible on every level of the home and in the garage/workshop.
Use smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms. Regularly check them and replace batteries as needed.
Make sure everyone who is physically able can demonstrate the Stop, Drop & Roll method to smother flames on their clothes.
Properly extinguish barbecues, candles, cigarettes, cigars, etc.
Create a defensible space on your property and utilize a flame-resistant landscape. See my gardening article, Defensible Space and Fire-Safe Gardening on this website.
Inspect your home and property for fire hazards and preparedness. The following checklists are helpful:
Cal Fire Department of Forestry and Fire Protection has a Fire and Life Safety Checklist http://osfm.fire.ca.gov/firelifesafety/pdf/buildingsafety/FireAndLifeSafetyChecklist.pdf
Portland Fire & Rescue Home Fire Safety Self-Inspection Checklist https://www.portlandoregon.gov/fire/article/414439
Stay safe everyone! Together, we can help prevent fires.
#Fire Safety #Defensible Space #Fire-Resistant Landscaping