by 4ursurvival.com on 01/11/18
For people living near or using recreational facilities in wilderness areas the threat of brush or forest fires is real. Advance planning and knowing protective measures to take can help limit the devastation of a fire.
While no one can prevent all such fires from occurring, there are actions that can prevent an emergency or lessen the damaging effects of unavoidable emergencies. Investing in preventive steps now, will help reduce the
impact of wildland fires in the future.
What to Do
Before a Wildland Fire
Learn and teach safe fire practices, such as
the following:Build fires away from nearby trees orbushes.
Always have a way to extinguish thefire quickly and completely.
Never leave a fire—even a cigarette—burning unattended.
Avoid open burning completely, especiallyduring dry seasons.
Observe local fire and building codes and weed abatement ordinances for structures built near wooded areas.
Use fire-resistant materials when building, renovating or retrofitting structures. Use only approved fire-resistant wooden shakes and shingles for a roof. Use tile, stucco, metal siding, brick, concrete block, rock or other fire-resistant building materials. Use only thick, tempered safety glass in large windows and sliding glass doors.
Create a safety zone to separate your home from combustible plants and vegetation. For example, stone walls can act as heat shields and deflect flames, and swimming pools and patios can be a safety zone. Minimize fire hazards around home by following some of these suggestions:Install electrical lines underground, ifpossible.
Keep all tree and shrub limbs trimmedso they don’t come in contact with the wires.
Prune all branches around the residenceto a height of 8 to 10 feet. Keep trees adjacent to buildings free of dead or dying wood and moss.
Clean roof surfaces regularly.Remove all dead limbs, needles anddebris from rain gutters.
Store combustible or flammable materials in approved safety containers and keep them away from the house.Install a spark arrestor on your chemney.Keep the chimney clean.Install smoke detectors on every level of your home and near sleeping areas. Make evacuation plans, in the event the
fire comes close. Plan several routes in case the fire blocks the main escape route.Have disaster supplies on hand, such as:Flashlight with extra batteries;Portable, battery-operated radio andextra batteries;
First-aid kit and manual;Emergency food and water;Nonelectric can opener;Essential medicines;Cash and credit cards; andSturdy shoesDevelop an emergency communication plan. In case family members are separated from one another during a wildland fire (a real possibility during the day when adults are at work and children are at school),
have a plan for getting back together. Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the “family contact.” After a disaster, it’s often easier to call long distance. Make sure everyone knows the name, address and phone number of the contact person.
What to Do
During a Wildland Fire Turn on a battery-operated radio to get the latest emergency information.
Remove combustible items from around the house, such as lawn and poolside furniture,
outdoor umbrellas, tarp coverings and firewood.Take down flammable drapes and curtains
and close all venetian blinds or noncombustible window coverings.
Take the following actions to protect your
home:Close all doors and windows insideyour home to prevent draft.
Close gas valves and turn off all pilotlights.
Turn on a light in each room for visibilityin heavy smoke.
Place valuables that will not be damagedby water in a pool or pond.
If hoses and adequate water are available,leave sprinklers on roofs and on anything else that might be damaged
Be ready to evacuate all family members and pets when fire nears or when instructed to do so by local officials.
If trapped in a wildland fire, crouch in a pond or river. Cover your head and upper body with wet clothing. If water is not around, look for shelter in a cleared area or among a bed of rocks. Lie flat and cover your body with wet clothing or soil.
Breathe the air close to the ground through a wet cloth to avoid scorching your lungs
or inhaling smoke.