Smoke detectors are very important in saving your home and family from possible fire accidents. Be sure to check the batteries in these annually. Many people do this on their birthdays or a certain date each year.
It is important to keep the local emergency contact numbers available. It may seem simple but when emergencies occur thinking straight can become an issue.
A lot of garden lovers will decorate their mailboxes with flowers and vines but be sure that these do not cover the house number.
Commercial buildings are not the only ones that should have fire safety drills. Develop an emergency exit plan and have all family members and other household helpers such as nannies or babysitters become familiarized with it and the emergency exits incase of a fire accident. Properly educate each member on a fire escape strategy. If children are taught to take the necessary precautions they are less apt to panic when their is an emergency situation.
Keep all matches and lighters away from children. Bear in mind that children are curious about things they see and become fascinated by them.
Inspect and be aware of all that is going on inside your home. Inspect defective areas and repair them as soon as possible.
The easiest and least expensive measures are best to start with in protecting your home. The two primary factors are the roofing material and defensible zone maintaining.
Remove dead vegetation such as dry grass, leaves and tree branches. Be sure to check roof and gutters and clear spaces under porches and decks. Don’t plant things too close together ,keep shrubs and trees at least 10 feet apart.
Keep propane tanks, stacks of construction materials and woodpiles at least 30 feet from any structures. Maintain a 10 foot clearance.
Talk to your favorite nursery about landscaping with plants that are fire resistant. Many native plants are highly combustible and it is a good idea to select plants that grow close to the ground and have low resin and sap. If at all possible keep a well irrigated green belt around the immediate threshold and a good alternative is non-combustible material such as rock.
Think about talking to your local fire department about the recommended fire-safe roof materials since your roof is particularly vulnerable to embers. Clay tile, shingles, slate and metal are the best in roof protection. A Classic C fire resistance rating indicates the roof can withstand light exposure to fire where a Class A will provide the greatest protection. Fire resistant siding should be Class 3 or better with stucco, stone or brick being the best.
Access to your home should be open enough for emergency equipment and your house address should be plainly visible.
To keep sparks from entering your home cover stovepipes and chimneys with nonflammable 1/2 inch screening. Also cover soffit and under floor vents and exterior attics with metal wire mesh about 1/8 inch but no larger.
It is extremely important that rural addresses have a source of water and the effective way to achieve this would be to have a large storage tank. Keep a hose rolled up and attached to an outside connection.
Be sure that people who are disabled or elderly and children are taken to safety before it becomes an emergency to do so.
Make plans for the care of your pets and confine them to one room. A usually docile animal can become hard to manage in an emergency.
Prepare your home by closing all doors and windows. Removing any flammable materials from around the house such as wooden furniture, gas grills or lounge cushions. Shut off the main gas line to the house and water down the vegetation surrounding your home.
Listen to the radio or tv for evacuation instructions and if you need to leave make sure you and your family wear fire resistant clothing. Sturdy shoes, long pants and long sleeves are best. Lock your doors and carefully drive to safety. Let other family members know where you will be.
Don’t return until authorities tell you it is safe. You may encounter fallen power lines, trees , damaged roads or hot spots so be aware and use common sense.
Check closets, attic and roof for smoke and embers.
Once you know you are okay go and see what you might be able to do to help your neighbors.