Know What Your Fire Risk Is
Know the history of wildfire in your area. Long periods without rain increase the risk of wildfire. Are roads leading to your property clearly marked? Is your house number clearly visible from the roadside? Create a safety zone at least 100 feet around the house.
Protect Your Home
- Remove debris from under porches and decks.
- Enclose eaves and overhangs to reduce rising heat.
- Cover house vents with wire mesh.
- Install spark arrestors in chimneys and stovepipes.
- Use fire resistant siding.
- Choose safety glass for windows and sliding glass doors.
Prepare water storage; develop an external water supply such as a small pond, well or pool. If you see a wildfire, call 9-1-1. Don't assume that someone else has already called. Describe the location of the fire, speak slowly and clearly, and answer any questions asked by the dispatcher.
Before the Fire Approaches Your House
- Evacuate your pets and all family members. Anyone with medical or physical limitations and the young and the elderly should be evacuated early.
- Wear Protective Clothing: sturdy shoes, cotton or woolen clothing, long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, gloves, and a handkerchief to protect your face.
- Remove Combustibles: Clear items that will burn from around the house, including wood piles, lawn furniture, barbecue grills, tarp coverings, etc. Move them outside of your defensible space.
- Close/Protect Openings: Close outside attic, eaves and basement vents, windows, doors, pet doors, etc. Remove flammable drapes and curtains. Close all shutters, blinds or heavy non-combustible window coverings to reduce radiant heat.Close inside doors and open fireplace damper.
- Place a ladder against the house in clear view.
Preparing to Leave
- Lights: Turn on outside lights and leave a light on in every room to make the house more visible in heavy smoke.
- Choose a route away from fire hazards. Watch for changes in the speed and direction of fire and smoke.
- Notify someone when you left and where you are going.
When re-entry is permitted following an evacuation, it is typically limited to residents of the area. In order to gain re-entry you must provide law enforcement with proof of residency for security purposes. Proof of residency may be in the form of a government issued I.D. such as a driver's license, utility bill or other documentation indicating the resident's name and address.