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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.

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