Popularly known as home to NASA’s Jet Propulsion and located on the western coast of the U.S., La Cañada Flintridge, CA, is one of the most wildfire-prone areas in the U.S. due to several factors. One of the main factors that make La Cañada Flintridge a high-risk wildfire area is the dense vegetation in and around the city, including the Angeles National Forest. Also, most of the houses in the city are relatively old with combustible siding, combustible roofing, and open eaves-making them susceptible to destruction by fire. More specifically, wildfires in this region now last about 65% longer and happen four times as often compared to 30 years ago, as reported by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Keeping this in mind, here are tips on how to stay safe in a wildfire in La Cañada Flintridge, CA.
Before a Wildfire
•Make a wildfire disaster plan.
•Pack an emergency supply kit.
•Have all your important documents and other valuables stored in a ready to go area in case you have to evacuate in a very short notice.
•If you don’t have one, buy couple of fire extinguishers (ABC type) and ensure everyone in your household knows how to use them. Keep one close to the kitchen, and show where the rest of them are.
•Keep handy fire-fighting tools such as an ax, rake, shovel, garden hose, and bucket.
•Install smoke detectors and centrally monitored fire alarms throughout your home.
•Ensure your home address is visible from all directions.
•Clear, treat, and cut back vegetation and remove dry plant debris such as fallen leaves and other combustible materials around your home by at least 200 feet.
•Plant fire-resistant trees and shrubs such as ice plant and rockrose around your home.
•Regularly remove dead leaves and other flammable debris and materials from your patios, decks, gutters, and downspouts.
•If you have a fireplace, inspect and clean your chimneys regularly and ensure your dampers are in excellent working conditions. Additionally, ensure your chimneys and stovepipes have a spark arrester that complies with the National Fire Protection Association Standard 211. For the exact specification, contact the Los Angeles County fire department.
•Install a 1/8-inch mesh screen on the flammable areas throughout your home, including beneath decks, porches, and floor areas. Additionally, use the mesh screen to make your attic, roof, windows, and doors fire resistant.
During a Wildfire
To keep an eye on the situation and progress of the wildfire, monitor the local news broadcasts on television, radio, and online. As you monitor the situation, do the following if not ordered to evacuate immediately:
•Shut off your heating fuel at the meter
•If you have automatic door openers, disconnect/disable all of them, allowing you to open the doors manually in the event of a power outage
•Turn off the pilot lights
•Turn on your home’s outdoor lights
•Close your fireplace, vents, doors, windows, blinds, non-flammable window treatments, and coverings
•Remove flammable window treatments from windows and doors
•Move all of your flammable household items such as flammable furniture and beds to the center of your room
•Move flammable items such as patio furniture and wood piles away from other structures
•If time permits, use plywood or commercial seals to seal your attic and ground vents
•Have portable water pump handy
•Make sure all your animals and most important box of documents etc. is ready to go if you get an evacuate alert, grab and move out immediately.
After a Wildfire
•Wait for the authorities to lift the evacuation orders before you return home
•As you return home, watch out for downed power lines and trees
•When you get home, do not turn on your gas or heating fuel supply
•Use a fire extinguisher to extinguish any embers or sparks
Use these wildfire safety tips to protect your home and loved ones before, during, and after a wildfire. For professional advice on the best home insurance policies, contact the experts at Knight Insurance Services. Our dedicated team is eager to assist you with all your coverage needs today.