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How to be FireWise
Lava Ranch FireWise
Homeowner’s Checklist
How to make your home FireWise

1. Design/Construction
__ Consider installing residential sprinklers
__ Build your home away from ridge tops, canyons and areas between high points on a ridge
__ Build your home at least 30-100 feet from your property line
__ Use fire resistant materials
__ Enclose the underside of eaves, balconies and above ground decks with fire resistant materials
__ Try to limit the size and number of windows in your home that face large areas of vegetation
__ Install only dual-paned or triple-paned windows
__ Make sure that electric service lines, fuse boxes and circuit breaker panels are installed and maintained as prescribed by code
__ Contact qualified individuals to perform electrical maintenance and repairs
2. Access
__ Identify at least two exit routes from your neighborhood
__ Construct roads that allow two-way traffic
__ Design road width, grade and curves to allow access for large emergency vehicles
__ Construct driveways to allow large emergency equipment to reach your house
__ Design bridges to carry heavy emergency vehicles, including bulldozers carried on large trucks
__ Post clear road signs to show traffic restrictions such as dead-end roads, and weight and height limitations
__ Make sure dead-end roads, and long driveways have turn-around areas wide enough for emergency vehicles
__ Construct turnouts along one-way roads
__ Clear flammable vegetation at least 10 feet from roads and five feet from driveways
__ Cut back overhanging tree branches above roads
__ Construct fire barriers such as greenbelts
__ Make sure that your street is named or numbered, and a sign is visibly posted at each street intersection
__ Make sure that your street name and house number are not duplicated elsewhere in the county
__ Post your house address at the beginning of your driveway, or on your house if it is easily visible from the road
3. Roof
__ Remove branches within 15 feet of your chimney and dead branches overhanging your roof
__ Remove dead leaves and needles from your roof and gutters
__ Install a fire resistant roof. Contact your local fire department for current roofing requirements
__ Cover your chimney outlet and stovepipe with a nonflammable screen of 1/2 inch or smaller mesh
4. Landscape
__ Create a "defensible space" by removing all flammable vegetation at least 30 feet from all structures
__ Never prune near power lines. Call your local utility company first
__ Landscape with fire resistant plants
__ On slopes or in high fire hazard areas remove flammable vegetation out to 100 feet or more
__ Space native trees and shrubs at least 10 feet apart
__ For trees taller than 18 feet, remove lower branches within six feet of the ground
__ Maintain all plants by regularly watering, and by removing dead branches, leaves and needles
__ Before planting trees close to any power line contact your local utility company to confirm the maximum tree height allowable for that location
5. Yard
__ Stack woodpiles at least 30 feet from all structures and remove vegetation within 10 feet of woodpiles
__ Locate LPG tanks (butane and propane) at least 30 feet from any structure and maintain 10 feet of clearance
__ Remove all stacks of construction materials, pine needles, leaves and other debris from your yard
__ Contact your local fire department to see if open burning is allowed in your area; if so, obtain a burning permit
__ Where burn barrels are allowed, clear flammable materials at least 10 feet around the barrel; cover the open top with a non-flammable screen with mesh no larger than 1/4 inch
6. Emergency Water Supply
__ Maintain an emergency water supply that meets fire department standards through one of the following:
.....• a community water/hydrant system
.....• a cooperative emergency storage tank with neighbors
.....• a minimum storage supply of 2,500 gallons on your property
__ Clearly mark all emergency water sources
__ Create easy firefighter access to your closest emergency water source
__ If your water comes from a well, consider an emergency generator to operate the pump during a power failure


1. Kitchen
__ Keep a working fire extinguisher in the kitchen
__ Maintain electric and gas stoves in good operating condition
__ Keep baking soda on hand to extinguish stove-top grease fires
__ Turn the handles of pots and pans containing hot liquids away from the front of the stove
__ Install curtains and towel holders away from burners on the stove
__ Store matches and lighters out of the reach of children
__ Make sure that electrical outlets are designed to handle appliance loads
2. Living Room
__ Install a screen in front of fireplace or wood stove
__ Store the ashes from your fireplace (and barbecue) in a metal container and dispose of only when cold
__ Clean fireplace chimneys and flues at least once a year
3. Hallway
__ Install smoke detectors between living and sleeping areas
__ Test smoke detectors monthly and replace batteries twice a year, when clocks are changed in the spring and fall
__ Install child safety plugs (caps) on all electrical outlets
__ Replace electrical cords that do not work properly, have loose connections, or are frayed
4. Bedroom
__ If you sleep with the door closed, install a smoke detector in the bedroom
__ Turn off electric blankets and other electrical appliances when not in use
__ Do not smoke in bed
__ If you have security bars on your windows or doors, be sure they have an approved quick-release mechanism so you and your family can get out in the event of a fire
5. Bathroom
__ Disconnect appliances such as curling irons and hair dryers when done; store in a safe location until cool
__ Keep items such as towels away from wall and floor heaters
6. Garage
__ Mount a working fire extinguisher in the garage
__ Have tools such as a shovel, hoe, rake and bucket available for use in a wildfire emergency
__ Install a solid door with self-closing hinges between living areas and the garage
__ Dispose of oily rags in (Underwriters Laboratories) approved metal containers
__ Store all combustibles away from ignition sources such as water heaters
__ Disconnect electrical tools and appliances when not in use
__ Allow hot tools such as glue guns and soldering irons to cool before storing
__ Properly store flammable liquids in approved containers and away from ignition sources such as pilot lights

Disaster Preparedness

__ Maintain at least a three-day supply of drinking water, and food that does not require refrigeration and generally does not need cooking
__ Maintain a portable radio, flashlight, emergency cooking equipment, portable lanterns and batteries
__ Maintain first aid supplies to treat the injured until help arrives
__ Keep a list of valuables to take with you in an emergency; if possible, store these valuables together
__ Make sure that all family members are ready to protect themselves with STOP, DROP AND ROLL
__ For safety, securely attach all water heaters and furniture such as cabinets and bookshelves to walls
__ Have a contingency plan to enable family members to contact each other. Establish a family/friend phone tree
__ Designate an emergency meeting place outside your home
__ Practice emergency exit drills in the house (EDITH) regularly
__ Outdoor cooking appliances such as barbecues should never be taken indoors for use as heaters