Redwood City VOICE
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Redwood City VOICE

Fire Prevention and Safety Tips Blog Series: Wildfire Risk Reduction

Reminders and Safety Tips from the Redwood City Fire Department serving the Redwood City and San Carlos communities

Follow along in this blog series to learn more about safety tips and fire prevention reminders from the Redwood City Fire Department in advance of Fire Prevention month this October.

For our first blog in this series, we are focusing on wildfire risk reduction tips. The manner in which a house is designed, location on which it is built, materials in its construction and access to it all influence survivability during wildfire.

These recommendations make a home much safer to defend and improve its chances of surviving a wildfire and are informed from California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection(CalFire) and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) resources.

Improve the Survivability of your Home

REMOVE leaves, pines needles and other flammable material from the roof, gutters and under decks

ENCLOSE eaves, screen vents and exterior attic vents using 1/8 inch mesh metal screening to prevent embers from getting inside.

REPLACE or repair any loose or missing shingles or roof tiles to prevent ember penetration

Landscaping Around Your Home

PRUNE trees so lowest branches are 6 to 10 feet from the ground.

DISPOSE of branches, weeds, leaves pine needles, and grass clippings that you have cut to reduce fuel for fire.

MAINTAIN and hydrate your lawn. Cut lawn to height of 4 inches or less. If it is brown, cut it down to help reduce fire intensity and spread.

MOVE any flammable material away from wall exteriors — mulch, firewood piles, and construction materials, anything that can burn

Protect your home

P PRUNE trees so lowest branches are 6 to 10 feet from the ground.

R REMOVE dead vegetation and other items from under your deck or porch within 10 feet of the home. Remove flammable materials (wood piles, propane tanks) within 30’ of your home’s foundation, outbuildings, sheds and garages. Clear leaves and other debris from roofs, gutter, porches and decks. This helps prevent embers from igniting your home.

O OBSERVE and inspect shingles or roof tiles. Replace or repair loose or missing shingles to

prevent ember’s getting inside.

T TRIM back shrubs or tree branches that come closer than 5 feet of the home and structures.

E ENCLOSE eaves, screen soffit vents and exterior attic vents using 1/8 mesh metal screening to prevent ember’s from getting inside.

C CLOSE all windows and doors if ordered to evacuate. Many homes are destroyed by embers entering the house from the inside out.

T TREAT and hydrate lawns. If your lawn is brown, cut it down to reduce fire intensity. Dry grasses and shrubs fuel wildfire. Dispose of debris and lawn cuttings quickly to reduce fuels for fire.

Use Equipment Safely — It Only Takes One Spark To Ignite A Fire

· MOW Before 10 A.M. but NEVER when it’s windy or excessively dry

· Lawn mowers are designed to mow lawns, not weeds or dry grass

· Metal blades striking rocks can create sparks and start fires

· FUEL equipment with the recommended grade of fuel

· Do NOT top off fuel

· SPARK ARRESTORS are required on all portable gasoline powered equipment (including: tractors, harvesters, chainsaws, weedeaters and mowers)

· Keep equipment in proper working order

· EQUIPMENT USE in wildland areas is important

· Keep a shovel and a fire extinguisher ready to use

· Do NOT drive your vehicle onto dry grass or brush

· Hot exhaust pipes and mufflers can start fires that you can’t see

· Keep a cell phone nearby and have the battery charged

· Call 9–1–1 immediately in case of fire

The Fire Department urges all property owners in the Redwood City and San Carlos hills to keep your home safe from wildland fires and go to www.fire.ca.gov for more details.

For information about PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoff, go here.

For more fire safety tips, go to the Redwood City Fire Department’s website here.

More Online Resources

Living with Fire in San Mateo County

Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) Checklist — San Carlos

Homeowners Checklist (CalFire)

Wildfire Home Risk Assessment Form

Structure Self-Assessment Form

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