Fire Safety in the North State
In light of the recent wildfires in areas near Redding, California, fire safety is at the forefront of the minds of Shasta County residents. Here’s how Redding homeowners can protect their homes and keep NorCal fireproof.
In light of the recent wildfires in areas near Redding, California, fire safety is at the forefront of the minds of Shasta County residents.
This year, local property owners faced many challenges when trying to protect their properties from wildfires, since a severe drought-causing water shortage in many areas made it difficult to follow many of the usual fire-prevention guidelines. However, there are plenty of ways Redding homeowners can keep their homes safe from wildfires.
- Clear all potentially flammable brush and debris from a minimum of 30 feet around your home.
- Install a spark arrester on your fireplace or wood stove chimney.
- Know the designated days for a controlled burn.
- Each family member should know what to do in case of fire: Older children should be instructed on how to lead younger children to safety. All children should know how to dial 911 and be able to tell the dispatcher pertinent information, such as their address.
Fire Safety Prevention in the Home
All of us should be educated in fire safety. First and foremost, homeowners should make sure to keep a fire extinguisher close by for emergencies. But that’s just one of the ways to be aware of fire safety. Keep these in-home fire-prevention tips in mind:
- Never leave or store items in or around your oven — and make sure to keep plastic containers out of the oven and away from its surface. In addition to the damage an oven fire can cause, burning plastics can release dangerous toxins into the air, potentially posing a serious health threat.
- Assess your home for combustibles, including paint and some cleaning solvents. Make sure to remove them or store them properly, and check labels for content before storing.
No matter how many fire-safety precautions you take, disaster can strike. Each family member should know what to do in case of fire: Older children should be instructed on how to lead younger children to safety. All children should know how to dial 911 and be able to tell the dispatcher pertinent information, such as their address. Some other things you can do to be ready for a fire emergency:
- Prepare a survival kit with bottled water, snacks, flashlights, and (if possible) a solar-powered radio.
- An emergency medical kit should also be included in the survival kit.
- Store your survival kit in an easy-to-get-to location that all family members can reach.
- After a house fire, smoke residues can be left behind. As they are toxic and carcinogenic, these residues can be dangerous. Following a fire, all home surfaces, as well as household and personal items should be wiped, washed, or sent to a cleaner.
For Redding residents, one of the benefits of living so close to a national forest is camping out. Campers should take precautions when using a campfire. No fire should be built anywhere except in the designated areas. Always put out all campfires completely before going to sleep or leaving the campsite.
We have the privilege of living in a beautiful area, and if we all work together, we can protect our natural resources — and ourselves. Each of us can do our share to preserve the beauty of our great NorCal.
You can get more information on fire safety from the Shasta County Fire Department and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
Image Source: Flickr/US Air Force