Staying safe in a wildfire
There are steps you can take before, during and after a wildfire to help you and your family stay safe.
- Give your yard a good annual clean-up and maintenance. Prune tree limbs within 10 feet of your home, clear away dead plants or branches, and remove pine needles, leaves, and other debris from the yard, roof, and gutters. Use caution and be careful to stay away from overhead wires. If you are not comfortable doing this work yourself, hire a licensed contractor.
- Prepare a family evacuation plan. Have more than one escape route and designate a place for family members to meet if they are in different locations when an evacuation order is given.
- Make sure adult family members know how to shut off utilities and how to use fire extinguishers.
- Prepare a survival kit.
- Listen to the radio for important reports and evacuation information.
- Remove lightweight and non-fire-resistant curtains from around windows.
- Place combustible patio furniture in the house or garage. Move all flammable furniture away from windows to the center of the house.
- Close windows and interior doors.
- Connect a garden hose to the outside tap and place lawn sprinklers on the roof. Wet the roof and any shrubs within 15 feet of the house.
- If you must evacuate:
- Shut off propane at the tank, or natural gas at the meter, and turn off all pilot lights.
- Turn on a light in each room of the house to increase the visibility of your home in heavy smoke.
- Wear protective clothing, including sturdy shoes, long pants and long-sleeved shirts, gloves, and a b andana or h andkerchief.
- Advise a friend or family member outside the wildfire area that you are leaving and where you will be.
- Stay tuned to the radio or television for updated information. If you had to evacuate, return home only after authorities advise it is safe to do so.
- Check for hazards such as electrical shorts or gas or water leaks. Turn off any damaged utilities, and arrange for the electric or gas company to test, repair, and turn utilities back on.
- Check the roof and attic for smoke, sparks, and embers.
- Throw away items such as food or medicines that have been contaminated by smoke or fire.
- Promptly report any loss to Travelers using the toll-free claim reporting number.
Source: Insurance Information Institute; www.iii.org