Prepare your home

1)  Shut off gas or any source of fuel (Propane, natural gas or fuel oil). Clear flam-mable materials from around propane tanks.

2)  Fuel and get ready any gas-powered pumps or generators that run electric pumps.

3)  Fill several garbage cans, tubs or other large containers with water. Soak several towels to use in beating out embers or small fires. (Availability of water may be vital to the survival of the structure.)

4)  Connect garden hoses and place sprinklers within 50 feet of your home. (Water pressure will probably decrease because of the heavy demand for firefighting ? or water may not be available because electric pumps have failed or water reservoirs are drained.)

5)  Place a ladder at a safe place to access the roof to extinguish embers, fire brands or small spot fires.

6)  Open fireplace dampers. Close fireplace screens. 

7)  Remove lightweight drapes and curtains. Close windows, vents, doors, blinds and heavy drapes. 

8)  Move combustible furniture into the center of the room, away from windows and sliding-glass doors. 

9)  Close all inside doors and windows, attics, eves, vents and pet doors to prevent drafts that could spread fire.

10)  Place valuables that will not be damaged by water in a pool or pond.

11)  Seal attic and ground vents with precut plywood or commercial seals.

12)  Remove combustible items from around your home, lawn, and poolside: patio furniture, umbrellas, tarp coverings, firewood. Store in a detached garage or shed. 

13)  Gather fire tools (rakes, shovels, pruning saws, chain saws, buckets, brooms, hoes, hoses, nozzles) and make sure they are outside and easy to access. 

14)  Spray a wood shake roof with water. If burning embers begin to fall on the roof and water supply and pressure are adequate, consider placing a lawn sprinkler on the roof to keep it moist. 

15)  Moisten fine fuels on or close to the structure. Use existing sprinklers to keep these fuels moist.

16)  Watch for changes in the speed and direction of fire and smoke. Don't let the fire get ahead of you and block your route to safety. Be especially cautious if embers or firebrands begin to fall in your neighborhood. 

If you didn't do so when the fire season began, do these now, if there is time: 

1)  Clear roof and gutters of leaves and pine needles.

2)  Clear leaves, dead limbs, twigs, brush and vegetation away from the structure.

3)  Cut low-hanging branches and limbs that could act as ladders for the fire.

4)  Remove leaves and rubbish from under your home and other structures.

5)  Remove dead branches that extend over the roof.

6)  Remove vines from the walls of the home.