Safety Tips for Wildfires
Knowing how to respond in the event of a wildfire could save your life and the lives of those around you. Here are some tips on how to prepare for wildfires and what to do if you find yourself faced with one.
- If you see a wildfire call 9-1-1
- When evacuating, make sure someone is aware of where you are going and contact them once you have arrived.
- Search the internet for your area and the term “wildfire alert” to learn more information.
- In the case that you or someone has been burned, seek medical help right away. To reduce further injury cool and cover burns.
How to Prepare Your Home for a Wildfire
There are steps you can take to prevent your home from catching fire. These include:
- Ensure roof and gutters are maintained and cleaned regularly.
- Keep objects that can easily burn, like wood piles, leaves, or brush, away from your home.
- Make sure you have garden hoses accessible to reach all areas of your home.
- Have large containers of water such as garbage cans prepared.
- Review your homeowner’s insurance policy and also prepare/update a list of your home’s contents.
In addition to preparing your home, it is advisable for you and your family to prepare together for protecting yourselves if a fire does breach your property. This can be done by having fire extinguishers on hand, and everyone knowing where they are and knowing how to use them. It is also a good idea for everyone to know where the gas, electric, and water main shut off controls are located and how to safely shut them off.
Have a Wildfire Evacuation Plan
Having an evacuation plan in place prior to a wildfire threat will help ensure that you and your family are safe and ready for what may come. This will make the unfortunate experience of an evacuation a little less stressful.
- Have a designated emergency meeting location outside the fire or hazard area. This is critical to determine who has safely evacuated from the affected area.
- Identify several different escape routes from your home and community. Practice these often so everyone in your family is familiar in case of emergency.
- Have an evacuation plan for pets and large animals such as horses and other livestock.
- A Family Communication Plan that designates an out-of-area friend or relative as a point of contact to act as a single source of communication among family members in case of separation. (It is easier to call or message one person and let them contact others than to try and call everyone when phone, cell, and internet systems can be overloaded or limited during a disaster.)
Returning to Your Home after a Wildfire
- If the power has gone out, check the main breaker.
- Check the roof for sparks and embers and extinguish immediately.
- For hours after the fire, maintain surveillance to check for smoke and sparks throughout the home.
- Take precautions while cleaning your property. You may be exposed to potential health risks from hazardous materials.
- In the case that you have a propane tank, turn off the system. Leave the valves closed and contact a supplier to inspect and attend to the tank.
- In the case that you have a heating oil tank system, contact a supplier for an inspection prior to use.
- Check trees in the area surrounding your home. Wind and fire could loosen a tree or branch.
For more information on Wildfire Preparedness, please visit the following websites:
For Your Sake, Don’t Wait!
Find out how much you can benefit from switching today.