Fire Prevention Tips for a Dry California

January 17, 2018 7:25 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

California residents know wildfires are a looming threat. Nearly 45 million homes are located in close proximity to nature, putting them at an increased risk of being hit by traumatic wildfires. This threat becomes even more imminent with California’s dry conditions. With the right weather conditions, one tiny spark can quickly develop into a major disaster, threatening homes, cities and forests. Losing a home in the blaze can be devastating, even if you have insurance coverage. Communities can struggle for years to rebuild after a wildfire has ravaged their infrastructure.

This is why it’s so important to take the steps to prevent a wildfire from starting in the first place. Follow these fire prevention tips from a real estate appraiser in Napa County, CA to reduce the likelihood of causing the spark that starts a wildfire.

Be mindful outdoors

Improperly doused and forgotten campfires are one of the leading causes of wildfires. Always start your campfire preparations by creating a rock ring at least 10 feet away from any flammable materials. Avoid burning anything but firewood, as plastic and other substances can cause sparking. Keep a shovel and water nearby to quickly put out the fire. Once you’re done, completely extinguish the fire with an excessive amount of water and dirt before leaving the campsite. If the ground still feels hot when you touch it with your hand, the fire is not out yet.

Vehicle maintenance

Did you know that your car can start a fire? Countless brush fires originate along the roadside each year due to sparks produced by cars. Avoid letting chains dangle and drag on the road, and check under the car to ensure none of its parts are ever close to coming in contact in the pavement. With the dry conditions, take special care to avoid driving onto dry grasses, as they can be ignited by a warm car part.

Follow all local laws and regulations

Many municipalities have regulations in place to prevent wildfires. This could include limits on igniting fireworks, burning trash, starting campfires and more. These warnings will indicate if the conditions aren’t suited for these activities based on the weather and dryness. Failing to follow these guidelines could result in serious consequences, including steep fines and even jail time. Check all local laws and ordinances before starting any type of fire.

Properly dispose of cigarettes

Always dispose of cigarettes properly to avoid starting a fire. Extinguishing them in a cup of water is the safest option. While ashtrays also work, check that the butt is completely contained, as the wind could blow it into an ignition source if it’s not.

Safeguard your home

Protect your home by creating a defensible space ahead of time. This barrier will prevent the fire from spreading into the structure, as it will lack the necessary fuel to travel. Typically, the area should span about 100 feet from the home. Grass and low hanging tree branches in this space should be trimmed to cut off the fire’s path. Have a real estate appraiser in Napa County, CA look over the area ahead of time to ensure you receive the full value for your lost property if a fire were to occur.

Need to have your property appraised by a qualified real estate appraiser in Napa County, CA? Call the professionals at County Appraisals Inc. to schedule an appointment today!

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