Before A Wildfire

On average, there are more than 5,6​​00 wildfires each year in California. Use the following tips to help protect you, your loved ones and property from wildfires.

Defensible space is your first defense against a wildfire

Learn about "defensible space" and how to keep your home wildfire safe -- information from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

A defensible space is an area 100 feet around your home that can help reduce the risk of spreading wildfire to your home or vice versa.

  • Landscape your home with less flammable plants such as hardwood trees versus pine or fir trees, and keep them well spaced. Keep plants to a minimum and away from your home. Check your local garden store for more plant information.
  • Maintain landscape regularly (e.g. mow lawn; rake fallen leaves, twigs, branches and other dead vegetation; and properly prune branches). Remove branches and vines that are connected from the ground to the upper levels (these acts as ladders for fire to climb).
  • Contact your energy technicians to report power line hazards (such as hanging branches).
  • Stack firewood about 30 feet away from your home.
  • Additional safety precautions are required if your home is on a slope, please contact your local fire department for additional information.

Protect your home

  • Treat your roof, walls, fences, decks and other connected structures with UL-approved-fire retardant chemicals and/or use materials like stone, brick, and metal. Avoid using wood materials.
  • Select fire resistant materials such as double pane glass windows.
  • Clean your roof, gutters and patio of leaves and waste.
  • Keep sparks out – cover exterior attic, and other vents with wire mesh no larger than 1/8 of an inch.
  • Install smoke detectors in your home.
  • Maintain the chimney.

Prepare your family

  • Discuss an evacuation plan with the family, plan two escape routes out of your home and your neighborhood, by foot and by car. 
  • Ensure each member of the family knows where the fire extinguisher is located and how to use it.
  • Download and print the American Red Cross Wild Fire Safety Checklist.

L​earn what to do: