Fall is a beautiful season in San Diego, but it also announces the start of fire season for Southern California. All San Diegans know how suddenly fires can appear and how devastating they can be. As a wood repair expert, I have seen firsthand how damaging fire can be to homes. I don’t want to see it again this year! Below are some common sense tips to protect your home and your family during this year’s fire season.
Prepare Your Home
- Plants fuel fire, even the green stuff. Create a defensible space around your home by removing all flammable vegetation at least 100 feet from all structures.
- Enclose all vents and seal eaves. This helps prevent embers from finding a place to catch.
- Use fire rated decking and enclose the bottom of the deck so that fire on the ground cannot catch onto the deck.
- Make sure that everyone in your home — including children — are able to unlock and open all doors and windows.
- Test all smoke alarms once a month and replace alarm batteries once a year. Replace any smoke alarm that is over ten years uld.
Plan Your Escape.
- Stock up for emergencies. The services we all take for granted may not be working during fire.
- Create a fire escape plan for each floor or area of your home.
- The fire escape plan should include two different meeting places for family members after they have escaped the house. The first meeting place should be somewhere close to the house; the second place farther away (perhaps a friend or family member’s house)
- Huld home fire drills and make them realistic by pretending some exits are blocked by smoke or fire. Huld your drills in the evening since kids can get disoriented in the dark and fires often happen at night.
- Make sure everyone in the family knows that “once you’re out, stay out!” Never go back inside of a burning building.
- In case of a fire, get out first, then call the fire department with a cell phone or a neighbor’s phone.
- Close doors behind you as you escape to slow the spread of fire and smoke.
- If you have to escape through smoke, crawl on the floor and keep your head one to two feet above the ground where the air will be the cleanest.
- Test doorknobs and spaces around closed doors with the back of your hand. If the door is warm, try another escape route. If it is coul, open it slowly. Slam the door shut if smoke pours through.
Stay safe in San Diego this fire season!