2014 San Diego Fires: What to do When you Have Fire Damage
Ever wonder why Smokey the Bear never consummated his marriage? Because every time his wife got hot, he sprayed her with a hose and hit her over the head with a shovel. But seriously, fire damage is no joking matter and as the summer months draws near and the Santa Anna winds pick up, the threat of fire looms. Unfortunately, a large portion of Southern California is suffering from wildfires right now, and the national concern is great.
When the Governor of California declares a state of emergency for San Diego County and a major military installation evacuates, you know that the local threat is anything but idyll. According to CNN, the San Diego fire damage has touched Carlsbad pretty hard, destroying 400 acres, four homes, and 18 units of an apartment building with more fires springing up all over North County San Diego threatening thousands of other houses and businesses. By knowing what to do when a fire threatens your home, and what your options are should the worst case scenario fall into your lap, you can be better prepared to face certain situations.
What can I do to Prevent Fire from Burning my Home?
You can prevent fire from burning your home and causing fire damage by removing dried plant matter from your property and hosing down your house. First and foremost, if the authorities have ordered an evacuation, do not remain at home under any circumstances; take your family members and your pets to a safe area and wait until the fire department says it is safe to return. However, if no evacuation has been ordered there are a number of things you can do to help detour fire from reducing your house to a pile of embers. Start by clearing all dried brush away from your home. This is one of the best fire damage prevention tactics you can embrace because fire needs fuel in order to burn, and debris such as dried branches, shrubs and leaves help fire grow and progress down the path of destruction. Then turn on your sprinklers, get the hose, and start spraying down your roof and the sides of your home. In the event large amounts of water soak into the ground around you house and threatens damage to your foundation, fear not because the risk posed by fire damage will likely be greater. If you are concerned you can always call a professional water damage restoration company to come out and survey your home for any potential hazards.
If fire warnings are common occurrences in your area, you may want to create a buffer between your home and trees or another building. By creating a specially designed space you can reduce the oxygen flow in a main pathway to your house and therefore limit the amount of fuel a fire can use. Fire technicians suggest pruning your trees and bushes so that shrubs are no more than 18 inches high, and tree branches should be no lower than six feet from the ground. Also, when planting new trees, make sure they are spaced apart by roughly 10 feet. The spaces created between the ground and your plants and trees will have limited levels of oxygen and will therefore aid in preventing fires from growing and moving towards your house.
What Should I do if a Fire Burns my House?
If a fire burns your house you should call a fire damage restoration company right away. In fact, you should call one while the fire department fights the flames so they can immediately get to work once the structure has been deemed safe to enter. A fire damage restoration company is staffed by specially trained technicians who know how to remove the acidic, black charred portions of your home, eliminate the stubborn smoke odor, and restore any home to its previous condition.
Whether fire is potentially threatening your home right this very minute, or the coast is clear, it would be wise to visit your local fire station and ask for some educational materials on home safety and fire prevention—especially is you have kids. Knowledge is power!