On average more than 100,000 wildfires break out in the USA every year, clearing up to 5 million acres of land, including homes. Wildfires can move at speeds of up to 14 miles an hour, so it is very important to ensure that you and your family are prepared for a wildfire in your area.
At Fire Damage Squad in Berkeley, we’ve seen our fair share of fires and we want to give you some tips for your home and property that will keep your family and home safe if you’re ever in this situation.
Here are some tips to protect your home from the National Fire Protection Association:
- Clear leaves and other debris from gutters, eaves, porches and decks. This prevents embers from igniting your home.
- Remove dead vegetation and other items from under your deck or porch, and within 10 feet of the house.
- Screen or box-in areas below patios and decks with wire mesh to prevent debris and combustible materials from accumulating.
- Remove flammable materials (firewood stacks, propane tanks) within 30 feet of your home’s foundation and outbuildings, including garages and sheds. If it can catch fire, don’t let it touch your house, deck or porch.
- Wildfire can spread to tree tops. Prune trees so the lowest branches are 6 to 10 feet from the ground.
- Keep your lawn hydrated and maintained. If it is brown, cut it down to reduce fire intensity. Dry grass and shrubs are fuel for wildfire.
- Don’t let debris and lawn cuttings linger. Dispose of these items quickly to reduce fuel for the fire.
- Inspect shingles or roof tiles. Replace or repair those that are loose or missing to prevent ember penetration.
- Cover exterior attic vents with metal wire mesh no larger than 1/8 inch to prevent sparks from entering the home.
- Enclose under-eave and soffit vents or screens with metal mesh to prevent ember entry.
Have an emergency escape plan in place. Find out the evacuation route from your house and discuss the route and the plan with your family. Also, sign up for emergency texts or alert messages from local authorities.
Create an emergency kit, including a first aid kit, blankets/sleeping bags, batteries, water, food, medications, toiletries, etc. and keep it in a place where you can quickly reach it and put it in the car if you need to evacuate.
Before leaving your home, if you have time you can take the following steps to protect your property:
- Move furniture to the middle of the room
- Remove drapes
- Close doors and windows
- Shut off gas from source
In case of a wildfire, keep calm and stay safe.
Have you been affected by a wildfire or do you have any questions regarding our fire damage restoration services? Please, don’t hesitate to call us at Fire Damage Squad Berkeley if you have any questions or need our help.