Staying Safe During California’s Wildfire Season

Staying Safe During California’s Wildfire Season

Each year, California has wildfires that attract national and sometimes even international media attention. The various media channels like to talk about what might have caused the wildfire, how big it’s gotten, and how teams are desperately working to fight it, as someone who lives in California, you’re first priority is doing everything possible to keep yourself and your loved ones safe during this year’s wildfire season.

Prepare Early

Don’t wait until you can hear the roar of the wildfire bearing down on you to start preparing. Wildfires spread quickly and they can also start quickly. Don’t wait until you’re in a high-risk area to start preparing for a wildfire. As soon as you move to California, you need to create start preparing for the possibility of a fire. 

Early California fire preparations include:

• Turning your property into a defensible space
• Having an evacuation plan in place
• Keeping your vehicle prepped in case you have to evacuate
• Having a bag packed with life essentials in case you need to evacuate
• Making sure your personal property is covered by property insurance

 

Creating a Defensible Space

You want to surround your property with a defensible space. This space serves as a buffer between an approaching fire and your home. The space shouldn’t have any items or vegetation that’s likely to burn. The defensible space should extend at 30 feet past your house.

Packing Evacuation Supplies

You don’t have enough room in your car for all of your personal belongings. Limit what you need to one bag per person. Most of the time you can keep his bag in your closet, but if it looks like there is a chance that you’ll have to evacuate, stow the emergency fire bag in your car. Fire moves quickly so each second you save is important.

Items you should have in your emergency fire evacuation bag include:

• A change of clothing
• Cash/credit cards
• An extra charger for your cell phone
• The contact information for your insurance company
• A first aid kit
• Any medication you take
• Water
• Food
• A flashlight

 

Keep Tabs on your Neighbors

Fire doesn’t care who it hurts. It’s up to you to keep in touch with your neighbors and make sure that they’re able to protect themselves from a wildfire. Whenever possible, offer to help them evacuate. Taking a few seconds to contact your neighbor’s emergency contact, or helping load up their car helps save lives.

Prepare your Pets

You can’t afford to forget about your pets during an emergency fire evacuation. They can’t fend for themselves. You should also be prepared for even the most docile pet to become stressed as you evacuate. They might not understand exactly what is going on, but they do know that a fire is approaching and that you’re stressed. 

Lock your pets in a different part of the house while you prepare to evacuate. This prevents them from bolting out the door and getting lost while you’re packing up your vehicle. When you’re ready to load your pets in the car keep them leashed or in a carrier. Don’t assume they will just follow you. Each time you stop the car for gas, make sure your pets are restrained before you get out of your car. 

It’s a good idea to get your pet microchipped and to write its name and your phone number on their collar before you evacuate. 

Before you drive away from your home, take a couple of seconds to double-check that all people and pets are loaded in your car.

Even though it’s hard to stay calm when you’re evacuating, you really need to. The calmer you can keep yourself in this situation, the smoother the evacuation will go. 

Read more >

7 Tips for Preventing Wildfires

7 Tips for Preventing Wildfires

All Californians know that it is that time of year once again. Fire season is upon us. California has a tendency to have a hot, dry climate in summer. This can make it very easy for fires to break out and roar across the state. While winds may help cool us down, they only fan the flames, helping them spread farther, faster.

During this time of year it is very important that every Californian be more cautious with everything they do. One wrong move can start up a wildfire and cause thousands of dollars in damage. Nobody wants to be the one responsible for that.

The following are some tips we have gathered to help prevent wildfires in the first place.

• When setting up campfires, be sure to check local laws to make sure they are allowed in the area, and if they are, that they are kept 10 feet away from anything combustible.
• When it comes to dealing with campfires, always be sure to keep fires smaller than 3 feet wide, and only burn firewood. The fire pit should be completely surrounded by rocks and a shovel and supply of water should be kept close by incase the fire starts to get out of control.
• Fireworks are a sure fire way to start wildfires, which is why they are typically illegal to set off in most areas of California.
• Never discard a cigarette by tossing it on the ground or throwing it out of the car window. Doing so is an easy way for the smoldering cigarette butt to land in a dry patch of foliage and start a new blaze. Always discard cigarettes in ashtrays where they cannot blow away.
• Never park a vehicle on dry brush, since the heat from the exhaust can be enough to start a fire.
Be careful with lawnmowers in dry areas since they can start fires with sparks cause by their blades striking against rocks. Try to mow early in the morning when there is still moisture around.
• Never play around with fire, especially not in hot, dry, or windy conditions.

 

Fire safety is a very big deal in the state of California. Every year fire season rolls around and thousands of acres are burnt down. Sometimes people lose their homes, and in devastating instances, people lose their lives. It is important that everyone do their part to try and prevent wildfires from happening.

Read more >