Disaster Preparedness: Wildfire Safety
A wildfire is a natural disaster that can threaten anyone who lives near forests, open fields, and other naturally flammable environments. Wildfires are often sparked by lightning and can ignite anywhere oxygen, fuel, and heat are present, putting practically every natural habitat at risk. Every year, major wildfires in the United States destroy millions of acres of land, often taking homes and businesses into their paths of devastation. By planning ahead and being prepared to respond quickly in the event of a wildfire, you can minimize risk to people and property.
Shield Your Home from Wildfires
- Ensure that your home is easily accessible by fire vehicles. Distinctly mark driveways, and make sure that your address is clearly visible.
- Post the number of your local fire department in your home, and report potentially hazardous conditions as soon as you notice them.
- Don't allow brush or dead leaves to accumulate around your home, mow the grass regularly, and remove any vines growing on your house.
- Keep gutters clear of debris, and be sure to cut down any dead tree branches that extend over your roof.
- Make sure that at least one garden hose is available and can reach any point of your house, both interior and exterior.
- Keep a ladder, axe, shovel, and any other tools you might need in case of a fire in an accessible location.
- If not already present, install smoke detectors on each level of your home, and test them regularly to ensure early detection
Know How to Prepare
- Learn local fire laws, which are designed to promote fire safety based on the environmental characteristics of your region. Follow your security service provider online to receive important updates about fires in your area.
- Plan emergency escape routes by car and by foot that your family can easily memorize and follow.
- Create an emergency kit for you and your family, including a three-day supply of food and water, first aid supplies and necessary medications, copies of important family documents, and extra forms of cash or payment. Keep the emergency kit in a duffel bag in a spot where it is readily available.
Respond to a Wildfire Warning
- Have a battery-powered radio to keep informed of wildfire reports and evacuation plans.
- Fill your vehicle with gas so you are prepared to leave in the event of evacuation.
- Close all doors, windows, and vents in your house. Ensure that both the gas and electricity are turned off, but leave the water running.
- Transport flammable furniture or any other movable objects that are located around doors or windows to the center of your home.
- Keep all pets in one central room and if evacuation is necessary, make plans for your pets to leave with you.
- Make plans for you and your family to stay at the home of a friend or relative in the event of evacuation.
- Cooperate immediately with firefighters, Army National Guard troops, and other public safety and security officers involved in evacuation and fire containment efforts.
- If you are notified of a wildfire spreading to your area, immediately evacuate, taking care to wear protective clothing, lock your home, and choose a route that will avoid any
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U.S. Security Associates (USA) is one of North America's largest security companies, with 160 locally-responsive offices providing premier national security services and global consulting and investigations to customers in a range of industries. Recognized for world class customer service, leading-edge technology, and an enterprise approach to risk management, USA offers optimized security solutions to meet specific customer needs. USA is committed to building quality security and risk management programs that are Safe. Secure. Friendly.® The Securing Knowledge series is part of the extensive and growing library of reference and training tools that contribute to USA's award-winning customer service and benchmark security programs. USA's investment in training and development resources is reflected not only by BEST Awards from the American Society for Training & Development, consistent ranking on the Training magazine Top 125, and technology-driven quality management system, but also by the company's leadership team, security officers, and service excellence on a daily basis.