Burn Institute stresses it's always time to prepare for fires


Last updated 1/7/2018 at 10:58pm

SAN DIEGO – With the continuation of extreme wildfire conditions and the devastating Lilac fire, the Burn Institute urges all San Diego County residents to stop, think, prepare and practice what your family would do in the event of a wildfire in your neighborhood.

“During wildfires, evacuations are put in place to protect lives," said Susan Day, executive director of the Burn Institute. "Your property can be replaced, but your life cannot. Therefore, the Burn Institute strongly recommends that you evacuate when told to do so by authorities, or even earlier if you feel you are at risk.”

Every family should have a proper evacuation plan in place:

• Create a list of important items that you would need to take during an evacuation including prescriptions, eyeglasses, important documents, essentials for your pets such as food and leashes, photos and anything else of value to your family. Have these items packed and ready to go.

• Be sure to park your vehicle facing outwards so you have the best visibility when you have to drive away and remember to turn your headlights on when that time comes.

• Know various routes out of your neighborhood, in case the usual roads become blocked.

• If time permits, close all windows and doors when you leave your home, remove curtains and other thin combustibles from windows and leave lights on to help firefighters see your home.

Simple steps can be taken to prevent a new fire from occurring. During these extreme weather conditions, be sure to follow these tips to stop future fires:

• Suspend all usage of power tools. Although you may want to clear brush near your home, these tools can cause sparks and ignite a new fire instantly.

• Make sure chains on any vehicles are lifted off the ground. A dragging chain from a trailer hitch can easily throw sparks on dry grass.

• Avoid pulling your vehicle off to the side of the road into dry brush.

• Never throw a lit cigarette out the window of a vehicle.

The Burn Institute offers a free 16-page educational “Living With Wildfire” Guide For The Homeowner, in both English and Spanish, that contains information on proper brush clearance, landscaping for fire resistance, how to maintain a defensible space around your home, evacuation tips and much more. To obtain a free copy of this guide call the Burn Institute at 858-541-2277 or download a copy at http://www.burninstitute.org/fire-and-burn-prevention/wildfire-program.


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