Wildfire Preparedness: Protect Your Home during Evacuation

24985891_mIf you get the order to evacuate, do not hesitate. Get out immediately. But, if you are on pre-evacuation notice, or if you believe evacuation is imminent, there are steps you can take to prepare your home so that it may be spared from destruction, your return home can go more smoothly, and fire fighters and rescue crews can more easily and safely do their jobs.

  • Turn off gas and heating fuel at the meter or source.
  • Place lawn sprinklers on your roof, the roofs of other structures, and near propane or gas tanks. Run the sprinklers as long as you can without violating watering restrictions in your area. Do not leave them running when you leave because it can reduce needed water pressure for firefighters.
  • Disconnect automatic garage door openers so that the garage door can be opened manually if the power goes out. Close the garage doors.
  • Close all interior doors to minimize drafts which help feed a fire.
  • Close all doors to the outside and close all windows, but leave them unlocked.
  • Close pet doors, basement vents, and interior and exterior attic openings.
  • Place a ladder against the house in a visible place.
  • Remove flammable window shades and curtains. Close shutters and non-combustible curtains and shades.
  • Move flammable furniture away from windows and doors, to the center of the room.
  • Turn off air conditioning.
  • Leave outside and inside lights on to make your home more visible to firefighters in smoky conditions.
  • Move gas grills away from you house and other structures.
  • Bring flammable outdoor items, such as patio furniture, inside. Or, if it won’t be damaged by water, put it in your pool.
  • Connect hoses to outside faucets.
  • Fill any pools, hot tubs, garbage cans, and any other large containers you have with water.
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