Knowing what to do to protect yourself, your family and your home in case of fire should be part of everyone’s home emergency preparedness plan. But preparing your home and family to safely survive a wildfire requires additional measures of prevention and practice. This week, we’ll focus on what you should do before, during and after a wildfire emergency.
With more than 45 million homes in the US located next to or near woods and wildlands, being prepared for a wildfire should be part of any responsible homeowners emergency preparedness plan.
As we’ve previously discussed, you should have an emergency kit and family communication plan in place– if you haven’t done this already, we recommend you read our article on what to include in an emergency kit and download FEMA’s communication plan form.
Here are 9 things you can do right now to make your home better prepared to survive a wildfire.
- Design your homes landscaping with fire safety in mind, considering materials and plant types that will aid in containing a fire instead of just being fuel for it. Additionally, try to keep trees at least 30 feet from structures.
- Make sure the material on your roof and outside walls is made of fire-resistant, noncombustible materials or treated with fire-retardant chemicals.
- Keep your home and yard well maintained. Regularly clean your roof and gutters of debris and keep your lawn trimmed and hydrated and trim any long tree branches.
- If you have a fireplace in the home, be sure to have your chimney cleaned and inspected at least twice a year and be sure to equip it with a spark arrestor approved by the NFPA.
- If you have a wood-burning fireplace be sure to keep your woodpile at least 25 feet from structures and fuel tanks.
- Any porch or deck with open area beneath should be screened in to minimize flammable debris from building up.
- Install dual-sensor smoke sensors on each level of your home, especially near bedrooms. We highly recommend smoke and heat sensors be included in your home security system so you can receive notifications while you’re away – not just when you’re in your home.
- Keep fire tools like rakes, shovels, and ladders in a readily accessible area
- Be sure your garden hose is long enough to reach any area of your home – or any other structures on your property.
Take these steps right now to make sure your emergency preparedness provides for both wildfires and home fires. Next, we’ll cover what you can do if you receive a red flag warnings and fire weather watches or if a wildfire is headed your way. Keep participating in National Preparedness Month with Alarm System Reviews.