Prepare Your Home or Business For a Wildfire
Prepare your home or business for a wildfire. If possible, use Class A roofing material. This includes tile, slate, or asphalt. You can also use Class B pressure-treated shingles or shakes. Make sure that you have smoke alarms near every bedroom or office and in each zone of your house or business. Test smoke alarms monthly and change their batteries annually. Also, consider installing fire sprinklers. Outside your home, make sure you have enough garden hose available to reach any part of your property. Designate water sources and make sure that the fire department can access them if they need to. Water sources are areas such as swimming pools, ponds, lakes, wells and fire hydrants. Create an emergency escape plan. Speak to town officials to learn what the evacuation route is for your area. Discuss this evacuation route with everyone in your family and your employees. Ensure family members who live nearby know the route and have means of transportation. Also, stay informed by signing up for emergency text or alert messages from your town. Finally, don’t forget to create an emergency kit.
During a Wildfire
Prepare to evacuate. Listen to emergency channels and know the status of the fire. Put emergency supplies and must-have items in the car so you can evacuate quickly. Evacuate immediately if told to do so. If you have time, there are steps you can take to help protect your property when you evacuate. These steps include:
- Moving furniture to the center of rooms and taking down drapes and curtains to prevent combustion.
- Closing all windows and doors to prevent drafts and reduce heat.
- Shutting off natural gas from its source.
- Turning on all lights in your property so that firefighters can more easily see it through smoke.
Evacuate Safely. Remain calm while evacuating. If you’re driving, roll up your windows and close the air vents. The smoke from the fire can get into your car, irritate your eyes and cause breathing problems. Also, turn your headlights on and keep your doors unlocked. In the event that something happens to you while driving, locked doors can slow your rescue.
After a Wildfire
Return only when it is safe. Do not go back to your property until officials declare it safe to do so. Watch out for ash pits and hot spots. Even after a fire is extinguished, small fires can flare up without warning. Check your house and surrounding property for hot spots and extinguish them immediately. Also, be on the lookout for ash pits. These are holes filled with hot ashes left by burned trees. Mark ash pits to help prevent others from falling into them and injuring themselves. Document the damage. Take photos and video and make a written list documenting your damaged property. Contact your insurance company immediately to report the damage. Wildfires are some of the most destructive forces of nature. There isn’t much that can be done to deter a wildfire’s path. Fortunately, there are ways to help mitigate property damage and keep your employees and loved ones safe. By following the information in this article, you can help increase your chances of prevailing through a wildfire.
Please visit the following website for further information: https://www.thehartford.com/claims/wildfire-safety