Wildfire Safety Tips

Wildfire Safety Tips http://learningcenter.statefarm.com/safety-2/severe-weather-1/wildfire-safety-tips/ bb3 Feb 23, 2011

By Staff writer State Farm™ Employee

Every year, wildfires threaten homes throughout the United States, especially those located in or near wilderness areas. The tips below can help you assess your risk and identify ways to protect your home and family from a wildfire.You can also use our interactive wildfire tips.

Plan Ahead

Good wildfire planning begins long before a fire occurs. Help ensure your family’s safety by installing and maintaining smoke alarms and fire extinguishers in your home. Also, identify adequate sources of water within 1,000 feet of your home, such as a well, hydrant, or swimming pool. As with all emergency situations, you should develop a disaster preparedness plan that includes a disaster survival kit and an emergency evacuation plan.

Be Informed

Wildfires feed on vegetation; hot, dry conditions increase the risk and speed of a wildfire. To learn more about the wildfire risks in your area, visit the sites below:

When a wildfire threat exists, use a battery-powered radio to stay aware of current information. Wildfires can move very quickly; if authorities issue an evacuation order, leave the area immediately.

Create A Safety Zone

The best way to protect your home from a wildfire is to remove or reduce the potential fuel within a 30-feet safety zone around your home. (If you live in a high-risk area, increase the safety zone to 100 feet):

  • Remove vines from house walls.
  • Move shrubs and other landscaping away from your house walls.
  • Remove highly flammable and low-branched trees, such as evergreens, eucalyptus, and juniper.
  • For remaining trees, remove limbs within 15 feet of the ground.
  • Clear tree debris, such as fallen limbs, leaves, and pine needles and cones.
  • Move stacked wood outside the safety zone.
  • Pay special attention to clearing debris beneath decks and other overhangs.
  • Consider removing wooden exterior structures, such as decks and patios, or replacing them with more fire resistant materials.
  • Install non-combustible roofing and siding materials, such as metal, slate, or concrete.
  • Clear debris from gutters.
  • Install electrical lines underground, if possible.

You may also want to collect some basic firefighting tools, including hoses, buckets, shovels, axes, rakes, and saws. However, do not attempt to fight large, fast-moving wildfires on your own.


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