Anchor Insurance Blog

Wildfire Safety: What You Need to Know NOW

Posted by Anchor Insurance on May 11, 2017 12:47:47 PM

Many homeowners face the risk of wildfires. Governer Rick Scott recently declared a "state of emergency" in Florida due to all of the recent wildfires across the state.  Many of these fires are triggered by lightning or accidents. They spread quickly, igniting brush, trees and homes. Some homes survive, but unfortunately, many others do not. Those that survive almost always do so because their owners had prepared for fire. Reduce your risk by preparing now to protect your family, home and property.

Here are some things you can do to protect yourself, your family and your property in the event of a fire.

Before a Wildfire

  • Install 1/8-inch mesh screen beneath porches, decks, floor areas and the home itself to prevent debris and combustible materials from accumulating. You should also cover openings to floors, roof and attic with mesh screens to prevent sparks and embers from entering your home.
  • Teach your family members how to use a fire extinguisher (ABC type), and show them where it’s kept.
  • Keep household items available that can be used as fire tools, such as rake, axe, handsaw or chain saw, bucket and shovel.
  • Keep a ladder that will reach the roof in case a family member ends up on the roof of a burning house.
  • Consider installing protective shutters or heavy fire-resistant drapes.
  • Move flammable items away from the house and outside of your defensible space, including woodpiles, lawn furniture, barbecue grills, tarp coverings, etc.

Plan Your Water Needs

  • Identify and maintain an adequate outside water source, such as a small pond, cistern, well, swimming pool or hydrant.
  • Have a garden hose that is long enough to reach any area of the home and other structures on the property.

Create a Safety Perimeter Around Your Home

  • It is recommended that you create a 30- to 100-foot safety zone around your home, free of debris, combustible materials and flammable items.
  • Within this area, you can take steps to reduce potential exposure to flames and radiant heat. Homes built in pine forests should have a minimum safety zone of 100 feet.
  • If your home sits on a steep slope, standard protective measures may not be enough. Contact your local fire department or forestry office for additional information.

During a Wildfire

  • If you are advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
  • Take your disaster supply kit, lock your home and choose a route away from the fire hazard.
  • Watch for changes in the speed and direction of the fire and smoke.
  • Tell someone when you left and where you are going.

If you see a wildfire and haven’t received evacuation orders yet, call 911. Don’t assume that someone else has already called. 

If you would like more information on developing a family emergency plan or building a disaster supply kit, please contact your local Anchor Agent today.


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Topics: Safety Tips, Home Safety