How to prep your home for wildfire season

It’s only the beginning of wildfire season on the west coast, but 2.2 million acres have already burned in California alone. Wildfires can be scary, especially if you live in a fire-prone area, but preparing your home and family for the event of an evacuation will help you leave the area quickly and perhaps even save your home from burning. Here’s how to prep your home in case of wildfire.

  1. Create defensible space. Defensible space has been known to be the most practical line of defense between your home and wildfires. Clear at least 100 feet of the brush between your house and neighboring wildlands. This includes removing dry or dead vegetation, clearing leaves from rain gutters, sweeping leaves out from under decks, and keeping grass below four inches. 
  2. Trim trees. Cut tree branches back a minimum of 10 feet from other trees and cut back branches so they do not touch or hang over your home. 
  3. Remove flammable sources. Repair leaky vehicles or propane tanks that could contribute to or ignite during a fire. Never park your car on dry grass.
  4. Close drafts. Drafts like cracks under doors and pet doors can offer oxygen to the blaze. Close the potential drafts in homes and sheds during the fire season. 
  5. Make it easier for firefighters to access your property. Clear driveways and label your address so it is clearly visible from the street. If you are evacuated, leave on outdoor lights to increase visibility. 
  6. Prep a to-go safety kit. Get together a go-bag with a first aid kit, prescription medications, nonperishable food, flashlights, and water in case you have to evacuate quickly. 
  7. Get valuables together. Get together necessary documents like passports, social security cards, and irreplaceable paperwork. That way, you can grab it all quickly in one bag and go in case of an emergency.
  8. Enable apps and notifications. Download CalFire’s Ready for Wildfire app to help you prepare your home for wildfire season and make sure you have opted into your local emergency notification system so you know right away if you are placed under evacuation. 

Wildfires can be unpredictable and frightening, but preparing your home and family will help you be better equipped should you have to evacuate. We urge you to visit the Ready for Wildfire app to learn more. 

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