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This article will cover seven safety tips to follow during a wildfire. We will also provide information on the dangers of smoke exposure and how to clean up smoke and fire damage with United Restoration.
These blazes in the US are an increasingly common occurrence, particularly in areas such as California, the Pacific Northwest, and the Midwest. They can spread extremely fast, threatening everything in their path, including homes, businesses, and lives. Therefore, it’s essential to take steps to protect yourself and your loved ones when it occurs.
Following these tips and knowing how to handle smoke and fire damage can help keep yourself and your community safe during such an occurrence.
What is a Wildfire?
It is an uncontrolled fire in wildland areas such as forests, grasslands, and other vegetation types. Natural incidents cause it, such as lightning strikes or human causes, such as campfires, cigarettes, and fireworks. Once it starts, it can quickly spread, driven by factors such as wind, drought conditions, and high temperatures.
Additionally, they can cause significant damage to homes, businesses, and infrastructure. They can also threaten wildlife and natural resources and pose severe risks to human health and safety. In some cases, wildfires can also lead to landslides and flash floods, further compounding the damage.
Always take steps to prevent them from starting, and be prepared to respond if one does occur. By following safety guidelines and working with professional restoration companies like United Restoration, you can help protect your property and your community from their impact.
7 Safety Tips to Follow During an Occurrence
When something like this occurs, it’s important to take action to protect yourself and your loved ones. Here are our tips to do that:
1. Prepare for the Season
Preparing for its season is essential to protect your property and yourself from its impacts. Begin by assessing your home and property for potential hazards. Then, clear away dry leaves, brush, and debris from your property and create a defensible space around your home.
A defensible space is an area of your property where vegetation and other fuel sources have been reduced to create a buffer between your home and a wildfire. You should also keep gutters clear of debris and store flammable materials away from your home.
2. Be Ready to Evacuate
In this event, it’s crucial to have a plan in place for evacuating quickly and safely. Have an emergency kit prepared with essential items, including important documents, medications, and clothing. If you have pets, make sure you also have a plan for them. Identify the safest evacuation routes and ensure everyone in your household knows how to reach them. You should keep your gas tank full and your car ready to go at all times should current wildfires worsen.
3. Limit Your Smoke Exposure
Smoke from these fires can be hazardous to your health, especially for people with respiratory problems. Stay indoors and close all windows and doors to limit your exposure to smoke. Use air conditioning if you have it, and avoid using fans that could pull smoke into your home. If you must go outside, wear a mask designed to filter out small particles, such as an N95 respirator mask.
4. Monitor Ongoing Occurrences
Stay informed about ongoing occurrences in your area by monitoring local wildfire news and emergency alerts. Follow instructions from local authorities and be prepared to evacuate if necessary. You can also use the National Wildfire Coordinating Group’s interactive map to track the location and status nationwide.
5. Do Not Return Home Until Authorized
If you have evacuated, do not return home until local authorities have authorized it. Even if your home is unaffected, there may still be danger in the area. Wait for an official all-clear before returning home.
6. Call 911 If You Become Trapped
If you become trapped during a wildfire, call 911 for help. Stay in a clear area away from trees, brush, and other flammable materials. If possible, cover yourself with a wet blanket or clothing to protect yourself from heat and smoke. You should also stay low to the ground as smoke and heat rise.
7. Immediately Leave When Ordered
If local authorities order an evacuation, leave immediately. Do not delay or wait for confirmation. Follow designated evacuation routes and stay alert for changing conditions. You should also avoid shortcuts or alternative routes that may endanger you.
Smoke and Fire Damage Cleanup
Even with the best preparation and precautions, it’s still possible for a wildfire to cause damage to your property. When it occurs, smoke and fire damage can be widespread and devastating, affecting everything from the structure of your home to your personal belongings, you must know how to reduce its impact to your valuable assets. But more importantly, to yourself and others.
Call the Experts
At United Restoration, we understand the unique challenges of smoke and fire damage. We hope our safety tips above will help you keep yourself safe from such eventualities. However, should you need to clean up, our team of experienced restoration professionals is trained to handle all aspects of the cleanup process, from initial assessment to complete restoration.
We use state-of-the-art equipment and techniques to restore your property to its pre-loss condition as quickly and efficiently as possible. If your property has been affected by smoke or fire damage, don’t hesitate to contact us today for expert cleanup and restoration services.