MAY 28, 2014
Wildfire safety tips
With the threat of wildfires across multiple states, the nonprofit Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH)® offers tips to protect your home and prepare your family for wildfires. Remember, embers can be blown more than a mile from the flames so it is critical to take action now to make your home wildfire-resilient.
Prepare your family
1. Have a fire disaster plan including at least two, pre-determined evacuation routes, a NOAA Weather Radio and disaster kit for your family
2. Follow any and all evacuation orders immediately
Protect your home
3. Identify an emergency water supply within 1,000 feet of your home through one of the following:
* Community water/hydrant system, and/or
* Drafting site on a lake
* Cooperative emergency storage tank with neighbors
* Swimming pool
4. Remove fuels that can lead flames to your home or that can become ignited from windblown embers, including:
* Dead grass, leaves, etc. (fine fuels) and dead twigs, branches, etc. (coarse fuels) within 30 feet of buildings.
* Dry leaf/pine litter from roofs, rain gutters, decks and walkways
* Dead and dry litter at the base of plants
* Tree branches (ladder fuels) within 6-10 feet of the ground
* Firewood within 30 feet of buildings
* Continuous beds of combustible vegetation (on the ground or in tree tops) that can bring large flames within 100 feet of your home
5. Clean your gutters, eaves and roof to make sure they are clear of debris
6. Plant species that retain moisture and resist ignition including:
* Native, fire-resistant vegetation (check with local forestry agency)
* Fire prone trees and shrubs away from your home and far enough apart, so they won’t ignite one another
* Make sure your street number is legible and clearly marked for emergency responders
* Move any storage sheds including lawn mowers, grills, gas cans and tanks away from your home
7. Before a threat, landscape with fire resistant, native plant species that retain moisture and resist ignition.
8. Install metal screening that blocks embers from entering your buildings, including:
* Noncombustible 1/8 inch on attic/crawl space vents, and around low decks
* Noncombustible (metal, etc.) skirting around mobile homes
If under a wildfire threat; only remove dead leaves or vegetation when local garbage collection services will have time to pick up the debris. Do not burn vegetation without following local requirements. For more information on wildfire prevention visit www.flash.org or www.protect-your-home.org.