First and foremost, make sure you and your family stay safe. Everything else can be replaced. If requested by the authorities, immediately follow all evacuation orders, and know that if anything happens, Chubb will do what’s right for you—whether that’s finding you a place to stay during repairs or finding you a similar home in your school district.
If you have time to take action and the fires are far enough away that they are not threatening your safety, here are some things you can do to assist firefighters and minimize the damage to your home.
Listen to emergency officials.
If they say evacuate, leave your home immediately.
If you see a fire, report it.
You may be the first one to spot a “hot spot,” so call 911 immediately if you see a fire, even if it’s a small one.
Shut off the gas.
Turn off propane at the tank or natural gas at the meter, and turn off all pilot lights.
Make your home easier to spot.
Turn on a light in each room to increase the visibility of your home in heavy smoke. Turn on exterior lights as well.
Close up your home.
Cover exterior windows, glass doors, and attic and ground vents with pre-cut plywood. Open the fireplace damper but close fireplace screens. Close all windows, vents, and doors.
Take the “kindling” away.
Move furniture away from windows and doors. Remove lightweight or non-fire-resistant window treatments. Put combustible patio furniture, doormats, toys, and trash cans inside the house or garage. If you have time, rake dead leaves away from the home and from under wood decks and clear the roof of any pine needles.
Make it easy for firefighters.
If your home is gated, leave the gate propped open to allow fire fighters easy access to your property. Connect garden hoses to outside taps. Fill buckets with water and place them around the house. Put a ladder against a corner of your house, so firefighters have easy access to your roof.
Wet down your space.
Place lawn sprinklers on the roof and near above-ground fuel tanks. Wet down the roof and shrubs within 5 metres of your home, but don’t leave sprinklers on or water running, as it can affect the water pressure.
Check for embers.
Even the smallest ember can start a fire, so continually check your roof and attic for embers, smoke, or fire.
Locate your evacuation kits.
Make sure your evacuation kits are ready to go – for yourself, your family and your pets – in case you need to leave.