Every year, wildfires threaten people and homes throughout the US, especially those located in or near wilderness areas. The tips below can help you assess your risk and identify ways to protect your home and family from a wildfire. In 2013 there were over 67,000 wild fires causing damage to over 9,000,000 acres. Wildfires kill almost 57 people annually, and cause economic damage totally over 2 Billion annually.
As more and more people move into rural areas, more people and property are at risk from the dangers of wildfires. Once a wildfire starts in your area, you can't control it or prevent it from approaching your property. But you can plan in advance to minimize potential damage and injury. Review these wildfire safety tips.
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· Make sure that fire vehicles can get to your home. Clearly mark all driveway entrances and display your name and address.
· Know your risk. Do some research and learn how often wildfires occur in your area. Find out when there is the greatest risk and take wildfire safety precautions.
· Follow local ordinances when burning yard waste. Avoid backyard burning in windy conditions.
· Develop an evacuation plan for your employee and family that includes a pack with extra supplies.
· Develop green spaces around your home.
· Don’t store wood next to any buildings.
· Plan escape routes away from your home - by car and by foot.
· Keep roofs and gutters clean and free from debris.
· Install non-combustible roofing and siding materials, such as metal, slate, or concrete.
· Have a ladder that reaches your roof.
· Make sure your street address is visible from the street.
· Clear a 10-foot area around propane tanks and the barbecue.
· Rake leaves, dead limbs and twigs. Clear all flammable vegetation.
· Back as many vehicles as possible into the garage. Then close the door. In the event that you evacuate remember to close the garage door behind you as you leave. If you do not have a garage or if yours is full, park your vehicles heading in the direction of the evacuation route.
· If advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
· Place lawn sprinklers on the roof and near aboveground fuel tanks. Wetting the roof may help if it is shake-shingled.
· Shut off natural gas, propane, or fuel oil supplies.
· Take your Disaster Supplies Kit. Have backpacks for each family member.
· Close all windows, vents, and doors to prevent a draft.
· Wear protective clothing and footwear to protect yourself from flying sparks and ashes
Here is a good resource to learn more. http://emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/wildfires/