'Preparedness' month emphasizes fire safety, precautions
From Ada City-County Emergency Management
September Emergency Preparedness Newsletter
Fire decimated a Boise-area subdivision recently when flames roared through tinder-dry grass and brush. Ten homes were destroyed, nine others were damaged and one person perished. Homeowners can help reduce the risk of such fires by taking a number of precautions, according to the Ada City-County Emergency Management office.
Its September newsletter offers the following advice:
National Preparedness Month – Preparing for Wildfire
On a national level, September is preparedness month. The theme for this month is: "Get A Kit, Make A Plan, Be Informed, Get Involved." All four of these elements are very important to your family, your community and your nation. All four of these topics will be covered during a preparedness event this month as presenters from Emergency Management, Fire Department, Health Department, National Weather Service, Idaho Power, Intermountain Gas and United Water all gather to deliver this information.
When: Saturday, September 27, 2008
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: Wal-Mart, 4051 E. Fairview Ave
Presenters will staff booths and give live demonstrations throughout the day. Do not miss the opportunity to learn about 72-hour Kits, family disaster plans, utilities in an emergency, severe weather, pandemic and more.
On a local level, our community has recently been touched by a disaster. The outpour of aid from all corners of the Treasure Valley to help with the recovery is a testimony to the fine spirit of those who live here. Wildfires are incredibly unpredictable events and for this reason, we must do all that we can to be prepared for them. We all want to help those in need. Let us also help ourselves by taking steps to make our homes as fire-resistant as possible. Here are some tips from www.Firewise.org on how to properly prepare your home.
A fire-wise home has:
Fire-resistant exterior construction – Wall materials that resist heat and flames include brick, cement, plaster, stucco and concrete masonry. Double pane glass windows can make a home more resistant to wildfire heat and flames.
Defensible space – Do you have at least 30 ft of space surrounding your home that is Lean, Clean and Green? The objective of Defensible Space is to reduce the wildfire threat to your home by changing the characteristics of the surrounding vegetation. Lean – Prune shrubs and cut back tree branches, especially within 15 feet of your chimney. Clean – Remove all dead plant material from around your home; this includes dead leaves, dry grass and even stacked firewood. Green – Plant fire-resistant vegetation that is healthy and green throughout the year.
Defensible space allows firefighters room to put out fires.
Fire-resistant attachments – Attachments include any structure connected to your home, such as decks, porches or fences. If an attachment to a home is not fire-resistant, then the home as a whole is not Fire-wise.
Fire-resistant roof construction – Fire-wise construction materials include Class-A asphalt shingles, metal, cement and concrete products. Additionally, the inclusion of a fire-resistant sub-roof adds protection. Something as simple as making surefire-resistant sub-roof that your gutters, eaves and roof are clear of debris can reduce your fire threat.
Emergency access – Identify your home and neighborhood with legible and clearly marked street names and numbers so emergency vehicles can rapidly find the location of the emergency. Include a driveway that is at least 12 feet wide with a vertical clearance of 15 feet to provide access to emergency apparatus.