What you should do in the event of a wildfire
Droughts and dry conditions throughout various times of the year increase the risk for wildfires. Careless use of fire in highly wooded areas can also dramatically increase the chance of a wildfire, which can then quickly spread across trees and dry brush and threaten homes and businesses that are in vicinity.
Wildfires often begin unnoticed. However, they spread quickly and every second counts! Talk with members of your household about wildfires- how to prevent them and what to do if one occurs.
Before a Wildfire:
- If you see a wildfire, call 9-1-1. Don’t assume someone else has already called.
- Have your disaster kit and emergency plan ready to go.
Before The Fire Approaches Your House:
- Evacuate your pets and anyone with medical or physical limitations and the young immediately.
- Wear protective clothing.
- Clear items from around the house that could burn, including wood piles, lawn furniture, barbecue grills, tarp coverings, etc.
- Close all doors inside the house to prevent draft.
- Open the damper on your fireplace, but close the fireplace screen.
- Close outside attic, eaves and basement vents, windows, doors, pet doors, etc.
- Remove flammable drapes and curtains.
- Close all shutters, blinds or heavy non-combustible window coverings to reduce radiant heat.
- Shut off any natural gas, propane or fuel oil supplies at the source.
- Connect garden hoses, and fill any pools, hot tubs, garbage cans, tubs or other large containers with water.
- Place a ladder against the house in clear view.
- Back your car into the driveway and roll up the windows.
- Disconnect any automatic garage door openers so that doors can still be opened by hand if the power goes out.
- Close all garage doors.
- Place valuable papers and anything “you can’t live without” inside the car in the garage, ready for quick departure.
- Any pets still with you should also be put in the car.
After a Wildfire:
- Check the roof immediately. Put out any roof fires, sparks or embers. Check the attic for hidden burning sparks.
- The water you put into your pool or hot tub and other containers will come in handy now. If the power is out, try connecting a hose to the outlet on your water heater.
- For several hours after the fire, maintain a “fire watch.” Re-check for smoke and sparks throughout the house.