Fire Safety Information and Resources
Smoke alarms are a very important means of preventing home fire fatalities by providing an early warning signal so you and your family can escape. According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), an estimated 385,500 fires occur in residential buildings every year resulting in 2,770 civilian deaths and 13,250 injuries. When a smoke alarm sounds, it is time for you to spring into action.
You can prevent tragedy simply by testing and maintaining your smoke alarms and practicing a fire escape plan. Make sure your home fire escape plan is up to date and everyone in the home knows what to do when the smoke alarm sounds. Practice your plan often.
Visit the USFA's Focus on Fire Safety
web page to watch an educational video on smoke alarms and to test your smoke alarm knowledge through an interactive quiz. You will also find links to valuable fire prevention resources available from USFA.
Depending upon terrain and vegetation, wildfire hazard risk exposure is generally pervasive, with high concentrations in southern California. Since 1950, 56 percent of Presidential declared disasters in California were the result of wildfires.
- Over the past 57 years, wildfires have claimed 97 lives and resulted in 1,504 injuries and $2.1 billion in California Emergency Management Agency (CalEMA) administered disaster costs.
- Approximately 37 million acres within California are at risk from wildfire, with 17 million acres at high risk. A total of 7.8 million acres of California are developed with housing unit densities considered to meet the Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) criteria and a total of 11.8 million homes are located in the WUI.
Learn what you can do to prepare and protect yourself -
Defensible Space: You Can Do It
(from the Firesafe Council)
- Remove all flammable vegetation around all structures. State law requires a minimum of 100 feet of clearance, but check with your insurance agent to see if your carrier requires more. For more information about state law, contact your local fire department.
- Trim trees so branches are six feet from the ground and 10 feet from your chimney. Remove branches overhanging your roof.
- Call your utility company for help with trees near power lines. Never trim these yourself.
- Remove any dead trees.
- Cut weeds and dead grasses six inches or shorter.
- Always work early in the morning and make sure your power tools have spark arresters to prevent equipment-caused fires.
- Ask your local nursery about landscaping with beautiful, fire-resistant plants.
- Maintain defensible space by cleaning up plant litter and watering properly.
California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CALFIRE) - "Why 100 Feet"
California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CALFIRE) - "Defensible Space"
Wild Fire Safety Checklist (American Red Cross)
More and more people are making their homes in woodland settings, rural areas or remote mountain sites. There, residents enjoy the beauty of the environment but face the very real danger of wild fires. Wild fires often begin unnoticed. They spread quickly, igniting brush, trees and homes. In a wild fire, every second counts!
Supplies to take with you if you need to evacuate:
- Water-one gallon per person, per day (3-day supply)
- Food-non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (3-day supply)
- Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
- Extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Medications (7-day supply) and medical items
- Multi-purpose tool
- Sanitation and personal hygiene items
- Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, deed/lease to home, birth certificates, insurance policies)
- Cell phone with chargers
- Family and emergency contact information
- Extra cash
- Emergency blanket
- Map(s)of the area
- Other essential items that could not be replaced if they were destroyed