If you own a home or rent a place in an area commonly damaged by wildfires, we have some tips that you can follow to help protect your property.
In addition, this article also includes tips for what to do if a wildfire has been spotted in the nearby area. Finally, we are also going to discuss some additional fire prevention tips for all homeowners and renters.
To get started let’s look at what you can do “if there is a wildfire near my home?’
What to do in the event of a wildfire
First, here are some tips that are best done prior to a wildfire. Taking these routine preparation steps can help save your home from a fast-moving wildfire that doesn’t leave you much preparation time.
In fact, you may want to do these things each year prior to wildfire season so that your home is best protected.
Clear an area of about 100 feet around your home.
This means remove dead wood, dried leaves and anything else that could catch fire quickly. This safety zone could prove invaluable if a wildfire approaches your house.
If you store wood to burn in your fireplace – make sure that you store that wood at least 30 feet from your home.
This wood, if it is near your home, can then cause your home to catch fire quickly.
Now if you are really serious about preventing wildfire damage another thing you could do is dig a small, shallow moat, or ditch around the perimeter of your 100 foot safety zone.
For most people this may be a case of too much work for too little reward, but it can prove beneficial for those who take the time … especially, if you are also able to quickly fill the moat with fire retardant material like sand or something else natural.
One more thing: If wildfires are common in your area you may also want to keep a supply of sandbags on hand (if you have someplace dry to store them).
The sandbags won’t help against the fire but can be used afterward as a barrier to help prevent mudslides from damaging your home.
Now Here Are Some More Things to do ‘If There is a Wildfire Near My Home’
Know at least two ways out of your neighborhood or community.
That way if one is blocked by fire then you won’t be trapped, you’ll have another option.
Set a meeting place in advance with your family so that everyone knows where to go should a wildfire move toward your home.
If you are told to evacuate do so right away.
Many don’t want to leave home and wait to the last possible minute. This is a mistake and can lead to those videos you often see on TV of terrified individuals driving down a road that has serious fire on both sides and the people in the car are crying and legitimately wondering if they are going to survive. Don’t let that happen to you! Leave right away.
If a wildfire has been spotted in your area – be sure to stay informed.
That means listen to the latest news reports. Watch the news on television and listen to it on the radio. You need to keep up-to-date on what is happening and where the fire is heading.
Fight against complacency.
If you live in an area where wildfires are common – like California – it can be easy to become complacent because the fires burn infrequently in the same area. You must fight that urge and stay diligent – it could be the difference between your family being safe or in danger.
And while the risk of being in a wildfire can be high depending on where you live, the odds are almost always higher that you’ll experience a house fire instead of a wildfire.
Some tips for preventing house fires
Keep appliances and heaters well taken care of.
A common cause of house fires is when something goes wrong with an electric appliance. The truth is a faulty appliance can cause a damaging house fire with just a few sparks.
This is why it is important to stay in the vicinity of an object when it is turned on and running, whenever possible. By being nearby, you may be able to spot the sparks or smell the smoke and prevent an appliance-related house fire from getting worse and causing more extensive damage.
Things to look for include frayed wires, appliances that become hot to the touch and appliances turning on and off on their own. You should also be careful about what is in front of a space heater when it is being used.
Don’t let kids play with fire
Kids playing with fire is still a leading cause of house fires. Statistics indicate that during a study period from 2005-2009 there were 56,300 house fires that were directly caused by kids “playing with fire.”
The best thing to do to prevent house fires caused by kids is to educate children as soon as possible about the dangers of fire. Another thing you can do is try to keep kids under close supervision during time spent at home.
Don’t leave a burning candle
Experts estimate that there are approximately 18,000 fires each year that are caused by burning candles.
A key to avoiding this kind of fire is to never leave a lit candle unattended. Something else you can do is to trim the wick on a candle to reduce the size of the flame it produces. Remember, the larger the flame the greater the danger of it starting a house fire.
Often people may fall asleep while smoking which can cause them to drop a lit cigarette which can then cause a house fire.
Ashes from a burning cigarette can also cause a house fire. Experts say approximately 1,000 people die each year due to house fires caused by smoking. To avoid a cigarette-related house fire, require smokers to smoke outside the home.
Be careful when cooking
By far the most common cause of house fires are cooking fires. Heat from the stove and flammable food and grease often create a dangerous combination.
To prevent cooking fires, never leave food that is being cooked unattended. Also, keep a fire extinguisher in your kitchen so that you can quickly access it. Cooking fires often escalate quickly.
What to do if your home is damaged by fire
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