February 18, 2019 at 5:05pm | Rima Rafeh

House fires are a problem in many places and can be even more of a problem in Southern California.

Between the high density of population and the high risk of wildfire in a Mediterranean climate, it can be hard to keep your home safe.

Here are some tips to keep your home safe from fire:

  1. Follow proper guidelines when burning branches and debris. If you need a burn permit get one. Keep your piles less than four feet in diameter and ten feet from any other flammable material and vegetation, as well as your house. Keep a water supply and shovel close by.
  2. Create a defensible area around your home. The area between 30 and 100 feet from your home needs to be a reduced fuel zone. Keep plants spaced out, prune low-handing tree branches, and water all vegetation regularly. Do not clear all vegetation, as plants can actually block embers.
  3. Cover exterior vent openings with hardware cloth to keep out embers.
  4. Keep the doggy door closed during fire season.
  5. Keep your roof in good repair and make sure it is constructed from non-flammable materials. Clean your gutters regularly.
  6. Have a smoke detector and test it monthly. Batteries should be replaced every year, or purchase a detector which runs off the main. Make sure your kids know what the smoke detector sounds like.
  7. Avoid using candles for light in the event of a power outage.
  8. Have fire extinguishers available.
  9. Regularly practice fire drills with your family. Have a meeting point outside the home. Also do an evacuation drill and know where you will go in the event of a wildfire, especially if you have pets or livestock.
  10. Keep your furnace and stove clean and well maintained. If you have a chimney, it needs to be cleaned regularly.
  11. Check wiring, including extension cords, and avoid overloading outlets.
Fire safety is important to everyone, but becomes even more important in fire-prone areas such as the Antelope Valley or Santa Clarita Valley. If you need more help, the Rafeh Group offers a free home analysis from one of our agents. If interested,  contact Rima Rafeh today.

Sources:
http://calfire.ca.gov/communications/communications_firesafety_outsidehome
https://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/5-ways-protect-your-home-wildfires
https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/fire/home-fire-preparedness.html
Photo by Joshua Hoehne on Unsplash
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