Preparedness Tips

• Have a pre-plan.

• Build or re-roof your home with fire resistant roofing materials.

• Clear pine needles, leaves or other debris from your roof and gutters.

• Remove any dead branches that hang over your roof.

• Remove any tree branches within 10 feet of your chimney.

• Cover your chimney outlet and stovepipe with a non-flammable screen of ½ inch or smaller mesh.

• Build or re-model your home with fire resistant materials: brick or stucco.

• Enclose the underside of balconies and ground decks with fire resistant materials.

• Limit the number of windows that face large areas of vegetation. Install double or triple-paned windows to reduce the potential of breakage in a fire.

• When a brush fire threatens, place all ladders against the street side of your home so anyone who stops to help can see them.

• Create “defensible space” by removing all dry grass, brush, and dead leaves at least 100 feet from you home. Use ornamental landscaping plants that are fire resistant.

• Trees can be pruned to keep the ground fires from spreading to the tree tops by removing all lower branches within 6 feet of the ground, and higher up if there is any burnable vegetation underneath of the tree.

• Stack firewood and scrap wood piles at least 30 feet away from structures and clear flammable vegetation that is within 10 feet of the wood piles.

• Place LPG tanks (butane and Propane) away from any combustibles.

• Turn off gas at the meter or turn off the LPG tank before you evacuate.  Defensible space must be regularly maintained to be effective.

• Clearly mark all emergency water sources and maintain easy firefighter access .

• If your water comes from a well, consider an emergency generator to operate the pump during power failure.

• You should know all exit routes from you neighborhood in case of an emergency evacuation.

• Make sure that any road leading up to your house allows two-way traffic, that it is not too steep and does not have curves too sharp to accommodate large emergency vehicles.

• Driveways and bridges must be strong enough to carry heavy emergency vehicles, including bulldozers carried on large trucks.

• Make sure dead-end roads and long driveways have turnaround areas that are wide enough for emergency vehicles.

• Your house address and street name should be printed in numbers and letters that are at least four inches tall, on a contrasting color background. They should be visible from all directions of travel.

• If your house is set back from your street or road, post your address at the entrance of your driveway.

• Store at least a three-day supply of drinking water and food that does not require refrigeration and generally does not need cooking. Include food and water for any pet as well.

• Store first aid supplies, portable radio, flashlight, emergency cooking equipment, portable lanterns and batteries.

• Prepare a list of valuables to take with you in case of evacuation. If possible, store these valuables together to save time.

• Pre-plan all escape routes from your home and neighborhood. Designate an emergency meeting place for the reunion of your family members in separate vehicles and establish a contact point to communicate with concerned relatives.

• Practice your home escape plan regularly.

• Nail plywood covers over windows and vents when a brush fire threatens you home.

• Move the lawn furniture indoors and keep combustible furniture away from the windows.

• Turn on the lights in the house, porch, garage and yard so firefighters can find your home.

• Park your car in the garage facing out for a quick get-away if needed.

• Leave keys in the ignition.

• Close all house doors, windows and garage door and leave them unlocked.

• Remove light weight curtains and close heavy drapes and blinds before leaving the home.

• If you lack a garage space, park vehicles in the direction of escape.

• Do not forget the family pets.

• Close all windows so that airborne sparks and embers cannot enter and ignite the upholstery of the vehicle.