Southern California Fire Season: 10 Things You Can Do To Help Protect Your Home

Real Estate Agent with HomeSmart Realty West, Carlsbad, CA 01335928

It's that time once again in Southern California

......Fire Season.....

when the air is dry and the Santa Ana winds begin to pick up.  We've been through devastating fires in the past years and hopefully we have learned ways to protect ourselves and our homes from being a target to help fuel the fires. 

 Here are 10 ways to help prepare you and your family for minimizing your properties risk and keeping your family safe in case of fire.

  • Check your smoke alarms  - Make sure you have an alarm on each floor of your home and located in each bedroom.  Check batteries regularly and replace batteries every year.
  • Register your mobile phones with Alert San Diego emergency alert system - go to and register cell phones.  You will receive a call in the event of an emergency in your area and be given instructions as to what you should do.  Many of us received calls a few years ago and were told when to evacuate and where to go.
  • Have fire extinguishers located throughout your home - Make sure to have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen, garage, and one on each floor of your home.  Check frequently to make sure they have not expired.  Know how to operate them.
  • Replace wood shake roofs - This is a must as they are very flammable.  It is expensive but could save your home in the long run.
  • Have an escape route for your family - Every family should have an emergency plan and escape route with clear instructions.  If you have to escape out an upper window make sure each member of your household knows where to find the escape ladder and how to use it.  Have a meeting place in case all family members are not home and memorize all phone numbers in case your cell phone is left behind.
  • Install an interior sprinkler system - The newer systems can sense where the fire is and only come on in that particular room.
  • Create a 100 foot defensible space around your home - This is especially true if you live next to open space, canyons, etc. 
  • Plant fire resistant plants by your home - Try iceplant which has a high moisture content or any other plants that hold moisture.
  • Keep flammables away from your home - Store wood away from your home as well as gasoline tanks, propane tanks, gas barbecue grills, etc.
  • Clean your roof and gutters - Make sure debris is not sitting on your roof and gutters because it makes great fire starters for any embers that may fall on them.

Another thing you should do is to walk around your home with a video camera and document your belongings in case you need to make an insurance claim.  Keep the video in a safe place as well as copies of your insurance papers, vital records and any other item of value that can not be replaced. 

Most of all, remember, things can be replaced, YOU CAN'T!  Don't try to be a hero or try to save things when your life is in danger.  Get Out and Get Your Family Out Safely!  The rest is just STUFF!



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Comments (2)

Kat DeLong
Realty ONE Group Mountain Desert - Prescott, AZ

Debbie. GREAT tips!!!!

Oct 15, 2009 08:05 AM
Dan Edwards 425-276-7008
Keller Williams Realty - Bellevue - Bellevue, WA

I have a suggestion for San Diego Residents......move to Seattle... nice and moist here... and we have some great summers without the worry of our homes burning down. LOL

Just Kidding.... If I didn't live in Seattle I would move to San Diego...great place to live

Oct 15, 2009 02:45 PM