ARE YOU PREPARED?
PREPARING YOUR HOME AND FAMILY FOR WILDFIRES:
Many big fires are caused by small mistakes! When Camping:
- STAY WITH YOUR BBQ GRILL WHILE COOKING
- PUT CIGARETTES OUT COLD, DON’T THROW OUT THE WINDOW
- DROWN AND STIR CAMPFIRE UNTIL IT IS COLD TO THE TOUCH
- BE CAREFUL WHEN BURNING WEEDS AND DEBRIS
PREPARING YOUR HOME:
- Clean debris from roof and cutters.
- Clear leaves, twigs, dead branches, pine needles and tree bark away from structures.
- Store firewood at least 30 feet away from structures
- Trim grass and brush creating a cleared area around propane tanks
- Thin, trim and cut trees, shrubs and grass 30-100 feet from your home
- Clear a 10 foot area around propane tanks and barbecue grill.
- Stack firewood at least 100 feet away and uphill from you home.
Practice Wildfire Safety:
- Contact your local fire department, health department, or forestry office for information on fire laws.
- Make sure that fire vehicles can get to your home. Clearly mark all driveway entrances and display your name and address.
- Report hazardous conditions that could cause a wildfire.
- Teach children about fire safety. Keep matches out of their reach.
- Post fire emergency telephone numbers.
- Plan several escape routes away from your home - by car and by foot.
- Talk to your neighbors about wildfire safety. Plan how the neighborhood could work together after a wildfire. Make a list of your neighbors' skills such as medical or technical. Consider how you could help neighbors who have special needs such as elderly or disabled persons. Make plans to take care of children who may be on their own if parents can't get home.
Design and landscape your home with wildfire safety in mind. Select materials and plants that can help contain fire rather than fuel it. Use fire-resistant or noncombustible materials on the roof and exterior structure of the dwelling, or treat wood or combustible material used in roofs, siding, decking, or trim with fire-retardant chemicals evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory. Plant fire-resistant shrubs and trees. For example, hardwood trees are less flammable than pine, evergreen, eucalyptus or fir trees.
Your best resource for proper planning is www.firewise.org which has outstanding information used daily by residents, property owners, fire departments, community planners, builders, public policy officials, water authorities, architects and others to assure safety from fire - it really works. 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.
FIRST CHOICE-EVACUATING SAFELY:
The safest place for your family is some-where that is not threatened by a fire. By planning ahead you can evacuate more quickly and be sure that you will remember the most important things.
Remember the “Five Ps”
- PILLS, and other medical supplies
- PAPERS, like birth certificates and tax records
- PICTURES, small artwork, jewelry and other important mementos
- PETS, pet food, leashes and pet carriers
- PHONE, charger and phone numbers of people you will want to call
Remember to tell someone when you leave, where you are going and what route you are taking. If possible, choose a route away from hire hazards.
LAST RESORT-TAKING SHELTER IN A HOME: If evacuating is not the safest thing to do, you may be safer to stay in your home (or your neighbor’s home) if any of these conditions exist:
- Your only escape route goes into the fire
- Smoke is so thick you can’t see where you are going and you don’t know where the fire is
- The fire is so close or is moving so fast that you do not have time to evacuate safely.
- Emergency personnel (in person or by phone) recommend that you stay.
When wildfire threatens, you may not have time to shop for supplies. Try to keep a three day supply of water and food for each member of you family in your pantry. Another area to keep in mind is medications, baby supplies, and pet supplies.
Some Useful Websites:
Arizona Fire Information:
How to Properly Put Out a Camp Fire
REDUCING WILDFIRE RISK
The goal of an effective wildfire protection plan is to keep the fire from coming dangerously close to any building on the property. Once ignited, the building itself can become a source of radiant heat, flames and embers that can ignite combustible materials and buildings or neighboring properties. An IBHS post-fire study and other research have shown that buildings located less than 15 feet apart are particularly vulnerable to this type of fire spread. If a building has combustible siding, such as wood, vinyl or other types of plastic, good defensible space will reduce the fire hazard. If the wildfire is allowed to come close to or reach the building and ignite the siding, flames can quickly spread up the wall, potentially breaking glass in windows and spreading into the building, or up into the eaves and burn into the attic.
|Think of anything surrounding or attached to a building as a potential wick that can bring flames to the house. This might include something as unassuming as a storage shed or the stack of fire wood that under normal circumstances would make for an inviting indoor environment. Remember wind-driven embers, not flames from the wildfire, are the biggest threat to homes properties during a wildfire. Once these embers land on and ignite combustible materials, the potential for the wildfire to spread is much greater.
|Defensible Space Zones
Locking the front door, installing a security system and adding motion-detection lighting are all things security experts recommend for keeping intruders out. Think of your defensible space zones the same way. Each zone acts as a layer of protection between your house or business and the approaching wildfire. Keep in mind, though, just as with home security systems, these zones are only effective if they are properly maintained.