By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna
April 24, 2013 (San Diego) – Homeowners and residents can take a proactive approach to dealing with wild fires by practicing some simple guidelines.
• Roofs should be made of noncombustible material, use a “Class A” fire-resistive material
• Trees need to be trimmed away from the roof and 10 feet away from the chimney
• Plants should be low growing and less combustible
• Combustible materials should be stored away from the home
• Make sure the yard is well trimmed and free of debris
• Roof and gutters should be cleaned of leaves and pine needles
• Make sure there is a 30-foot non-combustible fire break surrounding your home
• Make sure an adequate water supply is available to fight fire
• Be sure good access is provided for emergency vehicles
• Make sure your home can be well identified
• Plant vegetation should be kept away from windows and inside corners
• Water and maintain vegetation, remove dead materials
• Install double-pane tempered glass windows
• Install a spark arrestor
• Remove combustible furniture, stacked firewood, papers away from home
Before a wildfire strikes:
• Know where your gas, electric and water main shut-off controls are and how to use them.
• Become familiar with your community’s disaster-preparedness plans and create a family plan.
• Plan several escape routes from your home and neighborhood and designate an emergency meeting place.
• Put together an emergency kit.
• Ensure you follow your local fire code and adhere to it’s brush compliance program
During a wildfire:
• Listen to your portable radio for reports and evacuation information.
• Back your car into the garage or park it in an open space facing the direction of escape.
• Close garage windows and doors, but leave them unlocked.
• Confine pets to one room.
• Arrange temporary housing.
• When advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
• Wear protective clothing.
• Take your emergency kit.
• Lock your home.
• Follow the evacuation route that your local officials have identified.