Cleaning, Creating Defensible Space, and Packing an Emergency Supply Kit
Fire season is hardly limited to summer now, as wildfires have been happening year-round. Are you prepared if the next wildfire happens near you? Read on for tips from Cal Fire about how to create a defensible space.
To create a defensible space around your home, the first step is to focus on Zone 1, which extends 30 feet from buildings, structures and decks.
- Remove all dead plants, grass and weeds
- Remove dead or dry leaves and pine needles from the yard, roof and rain gutters
- Trim trees regularly to keep branches a minimum of 10 feet from other trees
- Remove branches that hang over your roof and keep dead branches 10 feet away from the chimney
- Relocate wood piles into Zone 2 (see below for specifics on Zone 2)
- Remove or prune flammable plants and shrubs near windows
- Remove vegetation and items that could catch fire from around and under decks
- Create a separation between trees, shrubs and items that could catch fire, such as patio furniture, wood piles, swing sets, etc.
Next, get Zone 2 ready. Zone 2 extends out 100 feet from buildings, structures and decks.
- Cut or mow grass down to a maximum height of four inches.
- Create horizontal spacing between shrubs and trees.
- Create vertical spacing between grass, shrubs and trees.
- Remove fallen leaves, needles, twigs, bark, cones, and small branches. However, they may be permitted to a depth of three inches.
Keeping your space around your home prepped for potential fire dangers can save your family, your priceless possessions, and your life. As a propane customer, it’s also important to keep your tank and propane protocols in mind as well. Our article Wildfire Safety – Tips for a Year-Round Threat discusses things to do before, during, and after a wildfire specifically pertaining to your propane system and equipment. These tips can also be applied to most other natural disasters. Above all, stay informed and stay calm.
Emergency Supply Kit Checklist
- Three-day supply of nonperishable food & three gallons of water per person
- Map marked with at least two evacuation routes
- Prescriptions & special medications
- Change of clothing
- Extra eyeglasses or contact lenses
- An extra set of car keys, credit cards and cash
- First aid kit
- Battery-powered radio and extra batteries
- Sanitation supplies
- Copies of important documents (birth certificates, passports, etc.)
- Pet food and water, if this applies
Items to take if time allows:
- Easily carried valuables
- Family photos and other irreplaceable items
- Personal computer information on hard drives and disks
- Chargers for cell phones, laptops, etc.
With the high risk of fires, it’s important to be ready if you have to evacuate your home.
ReadyforWildfire.org is full of information about being ready for wildfires. Always keep a sturdy pair of shoes and a flashlight near your bed and handy in case of a sudden evacuation at night.
Additional source: Cal Fire_Notice of Defensible Space Inspection