Importance of Fire Safety
A majority of the year in Southern California is like living in paradise. We don't have to worry about harsh winters with blizzards keeping us trapped in our houses, or monsoon season and hurricanes flooding our neighborhoods. But one thing Southern California residents know all too well is fire season. We used to think of fire season as a designated time period of a few months out of the year, but lately, fire season has seemed to last year round. Additionally, with the increasingly dry and hot environment, there are fire hazards all around us.
Create a Defensible Home
The first step in making a home that is safe from wildfires is by creating a defensible home. A defensible home is one that has the highest chance of surviving a wildfire, these homes are in compliance with brush clearance requirements, or have been through the fuel modification program and have been constructed according to the latest building standards.
The fuel modification program is for homes built in high fire zones; it requires that specific types of vegetation are planted close to the home to prevent fires from infringing on structures. Homeowners should remain diligent in thinning out and removing flammable vegetation as this will give their home a better chance of survival in case of a fire.
To further prevent the spread of a fire within your home whether it be from a wildfire or a house fire, think about installing an indoor fire sprinkler system. This will keep you protected year round from any kind of fire.
Have a Plan
Creating a plan that all members of the family are familiar with is another important step in fire safety preparedness. Every family’s plan will look different depending on where they live, whether they have pets and their living situation.
This plan should include:
Meeting locations and communication plans
It becomes increasingly difficult to communicate during emergency situations. Fires can take out cell towers making it impossible to communicate over cell phones, so keep this in mind when creating your fire safety plan. Additionally, it is helpful to have predetermined meeting locations so everyone knows where to meet ahead of time.
Different escape routes
Don't rely on just one route to leave your home during a fire, wildfires are unpredictable and could potentially make using that escape route impossible. Have other options written down so you are prepared no matter what.
Emergency supply kit
This kit should include your emergency radio, batteries, contact numbers, important documents, drinking water, basic canned foods, prescriptions, irreplaceable memorabilia, and credit cards/ATM cards/cash.
This plan could be the difference between getting out of your home safely and being trapped in a home with flames encroaching upon you, so make sure it is detailed and that everyone is familiar with it.
When you are notified that you need to evacuate your home, leave as early as you can. This will give your family the best chance at surviving the wildfire and it will also help firefighters and other emergency personnel by keeping the roads clear of any unnecessary traffic.
When it comes to keeping your home protected and your family safe, there is nothing more important than fire safety and preparation when you live in Southern California. If you're interested in learning more about fire safety and how to keep your family and your home safe in the event of a fire, then visit our website or give us a call!