California Wildfire Prevention and Preparedness

Peak wildfire season runs from July through October in California. The west coast climate is highly suspectable to wildfires due to high heat, low humidity, and wind speeds. Wildfires have the potential to spread quickly, wreaking devastation, claiming lives, and destroying homes.

James McKiernan wants to keep you and your family safe during fire season. We have compiled a list of important fire safety tips, including how to develop a fire disaster preparedness plan. Utilize the following advice to protect yourself, your family, and your home in the event of a disastrous wildfire.

California Wildfires

Nearly 10,000 wildfires were reported in just one year in California. Homes located near mountainous regions of the state are most suspectable to these fires. Record high heat and little rainfall result in extremely dry vegetation and significantly increase the risk of a wildfire.

Experts report that the months of September and October are the most dangerous time of the year for California wildfires.  12 of the 20 most devastating wildfires in California history occurred during these months.

Decrease Home Flammability

Decreasing your home’s flammability has the potential to save lives. A home with flammable materials exacerbates potential wildfire speeds and devastation.

Remove all flammable materials from the home during fire season. These may include aerosol cans, gasoline containers, nail polish remover, hand sanitizer, etc.

Fireplaces are also extremely dangerous during fire season. Fireplace embers significantly increase your home’s flammability. Install ember-resistant vents, class A roofing, or avoid using your fireplace entirely to prevent a disaster.

Disaster Prevention

Not all wildfire disasters are preventable, but there are things that you can do to lessen the likelihood and severity of devastation. Utilize the following advice to protect your family in the event that your property is threatened by a wildfire.

Smoke Detectors

The majority of fire-related fatalities occur in homes without working smoke detectors. Check smoke detector batteries regularly to ensure that these life-saving tools work in the event of a fire. Replace batteries on a yearly basis.

Fire Extinguishers

Keep several fire extinguishers inside the home to ensure that they can be accessed quickly in the event of a fire. You should keep a large extinguisher in the kitchen and several smaller ones throughout the home. There should be at least one additional extinguisher on each level of the home.

Outside the Home

There should be 100 feet of clear defensible space around the home at all times. Keep grass and weeds cut very low during fire season. Tall dry grass and weeds allow fires to spread quickly and reach your home at horrendous speeds.

You should also ensure that there is no excessive vegetation hanging from or otherwise contacting your home.

Develop a Disaster Preparedness Plan

Develop a disaster preparedness plan and practice with your family. The American Red Cross has developed a disaster preparedness template that you can use to help create your family plan. The template will help your family develop a standard and assign each family member a role in an emergency.

1.) Determine Best Escape Routes from the Home

Determine the safest exit routes from every room in the house. Designate a location for everyone to meet outside and away from the home. Choose a nearby location where your family members will meet in the event that they become separated.

2.) Choose an Emergency Contact

Choose an emergency contact outside of the immediate family to reach out to in an emergency. Everyone in the family, including children, should learn and memorize this phone number.

3.) Prepare for all Circumstances

Your family will need to be prepared for all potential circumstances in the event of a disaster. What if your children are at school or daycare when disaster strikes? Contact your child’s school or daycare facility to learn about their disaster plan. Request emergency contact information, including evacuation location addresses and phone numbers.

4.) Protect Vulnerable Family Members

Be prepared to protect your most vulnerable family members in the event of an emergency. Does anyone in your family have special needs, disabilities, or require important medication? Keep these items in a safe and quickly accessible location at all times.

5.) Assign Family Roles

Wildfires spread quickly. Everyone family member should understand their role in an emergency. Create a list of tasks and assign each family member a responsibility. These tasks could include grabbing the emergency kit, helping a disabled relative, gathering important documents, etc.

Additional Fire Safety Tips

Conduct regular meetings to teach and remind all family members of basic fire safety tips.

Family Fire Safety Reminders:

  • Stay low when there is heavy smoke in the house.
  • Do not touch hot doorknobs with your bare hands in the event of a fire.
  • Do not go back inside after you evacuate.

Be prepared to leave immediately in the event that a wildfire is threatening your home and family. Evacuate immediately if a Red Flag Warning is issued,  fire is visible nearby, or if you feel unsafe. Do not wait until it is too late.

California Property Damage Lawyers

Contact our California property damage lawyers to help you and your family if you suffered catastrophic damages caused by a California wildfire. James McKiernan Lawyers has helped thousands of clients throughout California get the compensation they deserve for their damages.

James McKiernan lawyers will work hard to determine the value of the property damage and fight for you in the courtroom. Reach out to James McKiernan today for more information.

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