Prepare for Fire / Wildfire

Wildfire

A wildfire is an unplanned fire that burns in a natural area such as a forest, grassland, prairie, or open space area. Wildfires can happen very near to developed areas, and can ruin homes, cause injuries or death, and destroy the forest or open space environment. 

PG&E has noted that for public safety, they may turn off electricity in high fire-threat areas when extreme fire danger conditions occur. They will attempt to contact customers in advance, when and where possible, to allow enough time to prepare. 

WHAT TO DO NOW: Prepare

  • In addition to the preparedness page
    • Have a N95 respirator masks that filter out particles in the air you breathe
  • Designate a room that can be closed off from outside air. Close all doors and windows. Set up a portable air cleaner to keep indoor pollution levels low when smoky conditions exist
  • Keep important documents in a fireproof, safe place, and create password-protected digital copies
  • Find an outdoor water source with a hose that can reach any area of your property
  • If near open space, forest, or grassland, create and maintain a fire-resistant defensible space for at least 30 feet around your home
  • Review insurance coverage 

WHAT TO DO DURING: Survive

  • Evacuate immediately if authorities tell you to do so.
  • If trapped, then call 911 and give your location (be aware that emergency response could be delayed or impossible); turn on lights to help rescuers find you
  • Listen to news radio, and check SMCAlert for current emergency information and instructions
  • Use an N95 masks to keep harmful particles out of the air you breathe
  • If you are not ordered to evacuate but smoky conditions exist, stay inside in a safe location or go to another location where smoke levels are lower

Home Fires

In just two minutes, a fire in your home can become life-threatening. In five minutes, a residence can be engulfed in flames. Make your home fire-safe, and make sure you and your family are prepared for fire.

PREPARE:

  • Fire alarms: Install the right number of smoke/carbon monoxide alarms. Test them once a month and replace the batteries at least once a year.
  • Escape Plan: Ensure that all household members know two ways to escape from every room of your home and know the family meeting spot outside of your home.
    • Practice escaping from your home once a year. 
    • Make sure everyone knows how to call 9-1-1.
    • Teach household members to STOP, DROP and ROLL if their clothes should catch on fire.

PREVENT

  • Keep items that can catch on fire at least three feet away from anything that gets hot, such as space heaters
  • Smoking is the leading cause of residential fire deaths in the US 
    • If you smoke, take precautions: smoke outside
    • Never smoke in bed, when drowsy or medicated, or if anyone in the home is using oxygen
    • Use deep, sturdy ashtrays and douse cigarette and cigar butts with water before disposal
  • Turn portable heaters off when you leave the room or go to sleep
  • Never leave a burning candle unattended, even for a minute