BYERS SAFE & SMART

Preserving our natural resources is important to the Byers family. Join us in saving water & energy and staying
safe from fire hazards with
our Safe & Smart tips and
collection of resources.

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Fire Safety Tips & Resources

Byers Safe and Smart – Preventing Fire in Drought and Everyday

California has been under a state of emergency since January 2014 due to the worst drought in California’s history. With such low rainfall, grass and brush across California is tinder-dry and ready to burn. Governor Brown has called to voluntarily reduce water use by 20%, which means we need to find other ways beyond water to protect against the increased fire risk. The drought has enhanced the potential severity and fire risk this season and taking proactive steps around your home is essential, but taking the time to reduce the fire risk around your home to protect your family is always safe and smart.

1. Create a 100 foot defensible space. A defensible space is a buffer between your home and the grass, trees, or shrubs that surround it,to slow down the spread of wildfires and for the protection of the firefighters defending your home.
http://www.fire.ca.gov/communications/downloads/fact_sheets/DefensibleSpaceFlyer.pdf

2. Don’t landscape, Xeriscape. Xeri (Greek for “dry”) scaping is landscaping with native, drought tolerant plants and grasses that require little or no irrigation or maintenance. Plants that thrive in arid, desert conditions will also thrive here in California.
http://eartheasy.com/grow_xeriscape.htm

3. Get classy. If you are in a high fire-prone area invest in Class A fire rated roof covering materials.
https://www.disastersafety.org/disastersafety/wildfiresandyourroof/.
http://www.fireresistantroofing.com/

4. Protect your home from fire from the inside out. Drought conditions remind us of the exterior risks, but many home fires start on the inside and spread fast once they get outside.
http://www.calfire.ca.gov/communications/downloads/fact_sheets/Checklist.pdf

5. Meet EDITH. EDITH stands for exit drills in the home. Write down a fire exit plan and practice it.
http://www.fire.ca.gov/communications/downloads/fact_sheets/EDITHBrochure.pdf

6. Install new batteries in your smoke detector. This is the tip that you could never hear enough. It’s simple but important. Approximately 2/3 of home fire deaths occur in homes without working smoke alarms. Working smoke alarms increase the chance of surviving a home fire by 50 percent.
http://www.fire.ca.gov/communications/downloads/fact_sheets/SmokeAlarms.pdf

7. Cut when it’s cool. Don’t use power equipment outdoors during the heat of the day when it’s dry, hot and windy. This can increase the risk of sparking a fire. Use power equipment early in the morning, before 10 a.m.
http://www.smokeybear.com/equipment-maintenance.asp

8. Clear your roof and gutter of accumulated debris. (Note: 704A.1.5 Roof gutters. Roof gutters shall be provided withthe means to prevent the accumulation of leaves and debrisin the gutter.
http://www.fire.ca.gov/fire_prevention/downloads/ICC_2009_Ch7A_2007_rev_1Jan09_Supplement.pdf

9. Know the law and recent changes to fire regulations.Check CAL FIRE or your fire department for the latest fire regulations in your area.
http://www.fire.ca.gov/fire_prevention/fire_prevention_wildland_codes.php

10. Remove, reduce and replace.Remove all dead plants, trees and shrubs from the site.Reduce excess leaves, plant parts and low-hanging branches.Replace dense flammable plants with fire-resistant plants.
http://www.usfa.fema.gov/citizens/home_fire_prev/rural/landscape.shtm