San Diego, Calif., July 2006
Fire safety tips
For additional information, visit these websites:
Your roof should be made of metal, stucco, slate or composite materials. If you insist on using wood shingles, such as cedar shake, make sure they've been treated with a fire retardant.
Your home siding should also be fire resistant. Metal, brick, stone and stucco are far better than a wooden exterior. If you have a wood exterior, make sure to treat it with fire retardants.
Clean your roof and gutters of flammable debris, including leaves and pine needles.
Remove any tree limbs within 10 feet of your chimney or stovepipe. Make sure flue openings are covered with small mesh or other protective grates.
Landscaping should be spaced so that fire has no clear path to burn up to the house or nearby plantings.
For a distance wide enough to prevent leaping embers from starting fires — perhaps 150 feet or so — make sure your ground is clear of dead trees and plants, the landscaping is well spaced and trees have been thinned out.
Trim any tree branches up to 15 feet in height.
A "fuel break" — devoid of any burnable material — should be maintained around any building on your property.
Soak fireplace ashes or barbeque coals in water before disposing of them.
Store gasoline only in an approved container and far from any occupied buildings. Keep propane tanks far from buildings and make sure the area around them is clear of flammable plant material.
Any burnable material, including firewood, picnic tables and boats, should be kept away from all buildings.
Keep your garden hose connected to the water spigot throughout fire season.
All the roads to your property and your driveway should be at least 16 feet wide to allow emergency vehicles through. Make sure your house address is visible.
Keep fire tools on the property: A ladder that can reach the roof, a sturdy shovel, a rake and a large water bucket all will help.
Your home should have at least two entrances and exits.
The Fire Safe Council
The California Fire Alliance: