When wildfire threatens, follow these last-minute steps to reduce damage to your home.
- Always evacuate if you feel it is unsafe to stay. DO NOT wait to receive an emergency notification if you feel threatened by a fire.
- Download the FEMA App and receive real-time alerts from the National Weather Service for up to five locations nationwide.
- Sign up for community alerts in your area and be aware of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA), which require no sign up.
- You may have to evacuate quickly. Know your community’s emergency response plan and have a plan for where to go.
- Follow instructions from local authorities. They will provide the latest recommended routes when leaving your home.
It’s standard practice by emergency response to shut off the gas supply to prevent feeding a fire. Doing so yourself reduces risks to your home.
- Shut off gas at the meter. Turn the handwheel clockwise to close any valves.
- Turn off pilot lights.
- Do not move propane cylinders anywhere near a house or structure.
- If you have a large propane tank, close the supply valve on the tank
Closing doors and windows can prevent embers from entering the house or structure and igniting combustible materials, burning it down from the inside out.
Remove lightweight window treatments and furniture to the middle of the room, away from windows.
This will prevent outside smoke from entering the home and causing preventable damage.
Leave your exterior lights on so firefighters can see your home under smoky conditions.
Remove combustible materials from the 0–5 ft zone around your home, called the home ignition zone or noncombustible zone.
- Clear dead plants, weeds, grass or any other combustible materials on and under your deck, and within 5 feet of your home.
- Move flammable items on your deck and around your home—such as toys, patio furniture, door mats, and trash cans—into your home or place them in your pool.
- Move propane tanks used with barbecue grills away from home. If you are evacuating, place propane tank at curb. Remove weeds and other debris from area around large stationary propane tanks so there is no combustible material near tank.
- If you have a combustible fence that attaches to your home, secure gate in an open position. Also, clear vegetation and debris under and within 1 foot of fence line in the area within 5 feet of your home.
If time allows, clean the gutters. If not, place a ladder near or against your home to allow firefighters quick access to your roof if needed.
If you have screens covering vents in your attic or crawl space, remove any debris buildup. If you don’t have screens, cover vents with duct tape or metal to block embers from entering.
- If you have vent screens, remove any debris buildup.
- If you don’t already have screens, cover all outdoor vents with duct tape, metal, or pre-cut plywood to block embers from entering. These covers should be removed once the fire and ember threat passes.
- Seal dryer vents and wall-mounted make-up air openings for furnaces with metal tape or duct tape.
- If time allows, move combustible materials inside your home as far away as possible from vents.
Connect garden hoses to the spigots but do not leave sprinklers on. It can negatively affect water pressure. Leave buckets of water around your home.