As CalFire prepares for an early fire season, they’ll have to do it with fewer firefighters than usual. With firefighters worried about contracting and spreading COVID-19 among their colleagues and the public, fire departments are bracing for a season with fewer firefighters than usual.
With fewer firefighters on the ground, fire safety is more important than ever. Help lower the risk of causing a blaze by keeping your home free of fire hazards.
How to Protect Your Property from Fire
If you live in a State Responsibility Area (shaded in yellow on this map), you have to comply with the state’s building and fire codes to protect your property from a fire. Even if you live in city limits, these are good practices to follow. A few steps include:
- Clear brush and vegetation 100 feet out from buildings.
- Remove all branches around chimneys and stovepipe outlets.
- Keep gutters, decks, porches and stairways free of leaves and debris.
- Make sure space underneath balconies is also free of debris.
- Remove dead and/or dying trees, branches and shrubs that are near any buildings.
- Store exposed wood more than 100 feet away from the home or cover it with fire-resistant material.
- Keep the lawn mown.
- Keep propane gas tanks away from flammable vegetation.
- Install dual-paned windows to prevent blow-outs.
Visit ReadyforWildfire.org/hardening-your-home for more good tips.
How to Avoid a House Fire
Wildfires aren’t the only threat to your home. Cooking, Christmas trees, electrical wiring problems, smoking, candles and defective appliances can all cause devastating house fires.
To keep you and your family safe from a house fire, here are a few things to remember:
- State law requires all homes built before 1974 to have at least one smoke alarm. Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room, outside of each sleeping room, and on every floor.
- Replace the batteries at least once a year.
- Make sure you have at least one fire extinguisher in your home.
- Smoke outside. Better yet, don’t smoke at all.
- Don’t leave candles or cooking unattended.
- Get rid of any old extension cords or cables with exposed wires.
- Develop a family evacuation plan in case of a fire. Make sure everyone knows how to escape from every room in the home and agree on a safe meeting spot outside.
CalFire reports more than 1,500 fires already this year—up significantly from 2019. Let’s all do our part to keep our homes and properties safe from fire as our firefighters face one of their most challenging fire seasons yet.
If you become injured in a fire caused by someone else, and you think you have a claim, call our office for a free consultation.