California has its share of wildfires each year. Homeowners living in areas with wildfire risks learn to take precautions to protect their homes and be able to evacuate quickly if necessary. However, when many homeowners are not personally confronted with the experience, they often get the “out of sight, out of mind” mentality, putting them at high risk in the event of an emergency. Before it’s too late, let’s refresh your knowledge and skills concerning steps you need to take to protect your property and family against wildfires.
Wildfires Are Mostly Caused by Human Activities
Your friendly professionals at Pacific Alarm Systems has been serving the Ventura, Los Angeles and Orange County areas since 1953. Being Californians, we know the damage that wildfires can cause. The National Interagency Fire Center reported that in 2012 there were over 68,000 wildfires in the United States; more than 9 million acres of land were destroyed by fire. Of all those fires, a full 86 percent of them were ignited by human beings, while the other 14 percent being attributed to lightning.
Part of the reduction of risk is simply not being the cause of a wildfire getting started. Follow common sense safety when it comes to fire and understand that it really only takes a single spark to ignite dry tinder that can end up burning millions of acres. Some tips to prevent a wildfire include:
- Installing spark arrestors on all flues.
- Installing spark arrestors on gas-powered mowers, trimmers, trail bikes, quads and chain saws.
- Practice a no-fire policy on dry and windy days. This includes outdoor grilling, fireworks, fire pits and campfires.
Tips to Protect Homes from Wildfires
Some California security companies, including Pacific Alarms, install modern residential and commercial alarm systems using advanced equipment designed by Honeywell. An alarm system with fire, smoke and carbon monoxide sensors provides early warnings to facilitate escape in the event of a fire, but there are some steps that can help prevent wildfires from easily destroying homes.
- Keep propane tanks a safe distance from the home. This varies depending on tank size.
- Eradicate all trees and tall grasses at least to a distance of 200 feet (or to the property line) away from the home.
- Install a metal roof.
- Install metal fabric with 1/8 inch or smaller mesh to prevent embers from getting under porches or into attics through vents.
- Close any open eaves with metal soffit and fascia.
- Improve driveways and access roads to permit easy fire vehicle entry and exit.
- Install a high-pressure, high-volume water line to be able to adequately wet down surfaces when wildfires threaten.
- Thoroughly wet lawn areas when a wildfire is active in the area.
- Keep firewood stacks a safe distance away from the home.
Home Security Options
Finally, take advantage of the low cost advanced early warning and 24-hour monitoring modern wireless alarm systems offer. The early warning of monitored alarms systems installed by California security companies will have the proper authorities dispatched regardless of if the threat is intrusion, a fire originating within the home or even a wildfire that has spread to the house. A quality alarm system provides protection regardless if the occupants are asleep in bed or away at work or school. Combine both the common sense wildfire protection tips and the early warning of a monitored alarm system as part of an overall safety plan for your home.