Over 10,000 Colorado residents have had to evacuate their homes this year due to wildfires. Most of them only had minutes to evacuate. There are plenty of great online resources to help you figure out what to take with you when you evacuate, but a comment left on a Fox31 article “How to be ready in case disaster strikes“ raises a great question:
I am looking for instructions on what to do to our homes to prepare for evacuation. I am only finding info on what to pack and take with us but what I need is info on whether I leave doors and windows locked or unlocked, do I move flammable material to a particular spot, do I leave a note on the door with information, etc? Where do I find this type of fire evacuation instruction?
A search pointed me towards a Colorado State University fact sheet “Forest Home Fire Safety” which has some great simple things you can do to help firefighters defend your home after you evacuate.
- Do not jeopardize your life. No material item is worth a life.
- Remove combustible materials from around structures.
- Close or cover outside vents and shutters.
- Close all windows and doors. Do not lock them.
- Close all inside doors.
- Fill tubs, sinks and any other containers with water.
- Remove lace, nylon or any other drapes and curtains made from light material. Close Venetian blinds, heavy drapes or fire-resistant window coverings.
- Move overstuffed furniture into the center of the house, away from windows and sliding glass doors.
To see the rest of the tips on how to defend your home along with mitigation and preparation tips, go to http://www.ext.colostate.edu/Pubs/natres/06304.html
Another great resource for homeowners who want to prepare their property and their communities for wildfires is http://www.firewise.org/Information/Who-is-this-for/Homeowners.aspx