Whenever a wildfire ignites, we can be sure devastation will follow in its wake. Over 68,000 wildfires are reported every year in the United States, and humans cause 9 out of 10 of those fires. There are many different ways a wildfire can begin, such as campfires, fireworks, vehicles, and gender reveal parties, but there are also ways to prevent them. While every state in the country is in danger of potential wildfires, we’re especially familiar with the impact of this type of natural disaster in Southern California. The state is home to an average of 7,000 fires a year, making the Golden State a hot spot for many acres of damage. California wildfire prevention is a dire priority, particularly during times of drought.
How to Prevent Wildfires
For people who live in wildfire-prone areas, knowing the ins and outs of fire safety is crucial during the dry weather season. Educating yourself and your family about preventing wildfires and being sure to conduct a fire system inspection are the first steps in keeping everyone safe from a potential inferno.
Campfires and Bonfires
Campfires are a centerpiece to any camping trip, and bonfires are a favorite for backyard gatherings or hometown football games. However, the fun can come to an abrupt halt if the blaze should spread out of control. The best steps to ensure your campfire is safe include:
- Never leave your fire unattended. If you are leaving camp or going to sleep for the night, always make sure the fire is completely extinguished.
- Avoid starting a fire on a windy day. Always consider the environment you are in before lighting a fire. Wind can quickly catch a small piece of fiery debris and drop it into dry grass or another flammable area.
- Before lighting your fire, make sure the fire pit you are going to use is appropriate and safe. Assess there is no nearby dry vegetation, and always surround your fire pit with stones to hold in the flame.
- Never forget to douse your fire pit with water thoroughly. The flame needs to be smothered entirely with water or dirt for you to leave the vicinity safely. Always check the pit for any lit embers that remain.
Whenever a summer celebration pops up, it is customary for fireworks to be part of the festivities. However, these beautiful light shows can come at a terrible cost if they are not safely executed and extinguished afterward. Some essential firework safety tips are:
- Set aside a bucket of water or a garden hose whenever you’re setting off fireworks. Once a firework is finished, you can place it inside the bucket or spray it down with the hose. This eliminates any remaining flames that may be lying in wait.
- Do not let children use fireworks or sparklers unsupervised. An adult should be present to monitor safe firework practices.
- Never light fireworks on windy nights. The sparks can easily be carried away and start fires elsewhere. It’s always a smart idea to have fire extinguishers readily available as well.
Cigarettes and cigars are a large contributor to human-made wildfires. If you’re a smoker, always dispose of your matches and cigarette butts in a closed container or liquid. Never drop them to the ground or discard them by littering.
Tools and Engines
Cars, tools, or other engines all run the risk of starting a fire in the wild. While working or visiting dry, flammable areas, keep an eye on your combustible engines. Furthermore, heed to these tips:
- Never park a hot car on dry grass and avoid setting tools down near dry vegetation.
- Monitor oil and gas closely to avoid flammable spillage.
- Attach Spark arrestors to all tractors, chainsaws, and off-road vehicles you may use in wooded areas.
Yard Trash Fires
Yard trash fires can help remove unwanted debris from a property, but they must be executed in the safest possible ways. Following these steps can help:
- Only burn yard waste and debris inside a 50-gallon drum or appropriate fire pit to prevent spreading the flames.
- Never leave your yard trash fire unattended.
- Always check your local fire codes before starting a yard debris fire. Yard trash fires may not be allowed in your residential area.
- Never burn anything that is highly combustible.
- Always make sure your fire is completely doused with water or dirt before you abandon it.
How to Stop Fires from Spreading
When a wildfire begins to burn, everything in its path gets in harm’s way. Luckily, there are steps you can take to help ensure fire protection for your home or business.
Always make sure your home and business properties are up to fire code. Fire alarms are mandatory for your family’s safety. Choose to surround your home with fire-resistant plants by consulting a landscaper. Be sure to prune trees and bushes regularly, so dead foliage is less likely to catch fire. Mowing grass regularly can also help in protecting your commercial property and home.
Be sure to schedule regular appointments with fire safety experts to check all your fire safety measures’ functionalities. They can help conduct a thorough fire system inspection.
How Do I Learn More?
To learn more about how to prevent wildfires, contact the experts at APFE Corp. Our professionals will be happy to answer any questions you have.