Wildfire Prep and Prevention
While wildfires happen more frequently in the western United States, nearly every state has been devastated by fires in the last century. And each year, hundreds of homes are destroyed as more people choose to live closer to nature.
Before a wildfire
- Create a defensible space, at least a 30-foot noncombustible zone around your home.
- Choose fire-resistant plants and trees.
- Remove or prune low-hanging tree branches.
- Cut grass and weeds regularly and keep your roof and yard clean, especially from dry yard debris.
- Stack wood piles or other burnable materials at least 30 feet from your home or other buildings on your property.
- Keep signs and addresses visible so firefighters can easily locate your property.
- Rate your roof. Is it fire-resistant?
- Recycle yard debris and branches instead of burning.
During a wildfire
- If a wildfire starts in your area, monitor local news reports for evacuation procedures.
- Prepare for evacuation by turning off gas valves and pilot lights, closing all windows and doors, and packing your car for quick departure if there is time and it is safe to do so.
- Return to a burned area only when local authorities have instructed you to do so.
After a wildfire
- Stay out of burned or smoke damaged buildings.
- Wear protective clothing including sturdy shoes, long pants, a long sleeve shirt, and gloves.
- Avoid breathing ashes and soot by covering your nose and mouth with a handkerchief or face mask.
- Watch out for broken glass, sharp objects and exposed electrical wires.
- Listen to the local radio for up-to-date information.
- If you were evacuated, don’t return home until local authorities say it’s safe for you to do so.
- Check your roof immediately for burning embers.
- Inspect your entire property for signs of burning embers.
- Put out any sparks or burning embers if you can do so safely.
- Call the fire department if necessary.
Source: Safeco Insurance