Maintaining Your Home
♦ Clean out your gutters on a regular basis.
♦ Clean off your roof on a regular basis.
♦ Inspect your chimney twice a year. Clean it at least once a year.
Make sure your chimney and stove pipes have a spark arrester.
♦ Keep a metal ladder handy that will reach the roof level.
♦ Consider installing fire resistant shutters.
♦ Keep tools handy that could be used to help fight a fire,
such as a bucket, shovel, ax, a hand saw, or chain saw.
♦ Keep brush cleared and debris away from the house.
♦ Keep your hoses in good working order.
♦ Keep a fire extinguisher handy, and in good working order.
Know how to use them.
Check with your local Fire Department on what type to get, and where to keep them.
♦ Have working smoke detectors or carbon monoxide detectors.
Test them every month and change the batteries twice a year.
Check with your local Fire Department for how many you should have
for the size of your house, and where to place them.
♦ Install heavy fire-resistant drapes on your windows.
Water Needs and Uses in a Wildfire
Since water is one of the major tools used in a fire, consider some
of the following.
Remember to discuss these when making your Disaster Plan.
♦ If you have a pool, have a pool pump or water pump available.
Have a generator available to pump the water should the power go out.
(see Generators for safety tips.)
♦ If possible, have an outside water source such as a pool, a pond, a cistern
or a well.
♦ Have hoses on all sides of the house.
Install freeze proof exterior water faucets if necessary.
If there are outbuildings, make sure the hoses can reach, or install new outlets.
♦ Have the heavy duty hoses, 50 feet or longer (100 foot hoses are better)
with spray nozzle attachments near each water faucet.
Check the hoses at least twice a year for holes, rips or leaks.
♦ If you have a barbecue , fire pit or outdoor fireplace,
make sure to have a fire extinguisher nearby.
Know how to use it properly.
What to do When There is a Wildfire
(Be Ready for an Emergency Evacuation)
♦ If you know a fire has started in your area, check the news reports
for information. If the power goes out, listen to your battery operated radio.
Listen for updates and evacuation orders.
♦ Gather the family and put your Disaster Plan into action.
Gather the pets in one room.
Have your car backed into the garage or driveway.
If told to evacuate, this will save time. If you have an electric garage door,
put it into the manual operating mood so you are able to open it.
Consider leaving your keys in the ignition so you know right where they are
if you must evacuate. Keep the car windows closed to keep out the smoke.
Close the garage door and windows. Load the car with your important papers.
If you have not yet gotten your Disaster Supplies, Emergency Kits and First Aid Kits
for your car, have the ones for your home ready to take in the car.
If you have time ... Inside the home
♦ Close all the windows and doors in your home.
♦ Close vents, blinds, and heavy drapes. Remove any lightweight curtains.
♦ Close the fireplace screen, but open the damper.
♦ Move flammable furniture into the center of the room, away from windows
or sliding glass doors.
♦ Turn on a light or have battery operated lights in each room.
This will increase visibility in heavy smoke.
♦ Turn off the pilot light on your stove and heating system, and any others
you may have.
♦ Try and arrange temporary housing at a relative's or friend's house outside
the area. Do Not spend too much time on the phone. If you need to leave,
you can always make calls later. If evacuated, there will be a shelter available.