After a wildfire has spread through your neighborhood, you may be excited about the prospect of returning home. However, even after the fire has been extinguished, there could still be many dangers lurking in and around your home. This list will help you stay safe as you deal with the aftermath of a wildfire.
On the Way to Your Property, Check for the Following:
- Brush, rocks and trees that may be loose due to the fire. Brush and trees may fall, while rocks may crumble and fall down a hill.
- Utility poles that have fallen or have burn marks
- Damage and debris on the road
- Fire damage in your driveway and on your property. It’s best to clear it and move it as far away from your house as possible.
Once You Arrive at Your Property, Check for the Following:
- Hot embers from the fire that could be lingering on the roof, under overhangs and in rain gutters
- Hot embers on the lawn and in debris piles
- Hot embers under crawlspaces and decks
- Damage to any pump house or well
- Loss of power
If You Have Lost Gas or Power, Do the Following:
- Look for damage to the propane tank, gas lines and gas meter. If you notice any issues, contact the gas company. Do not attempt to repair them on your own.
- Stay clear of any downed electrical wires. If you find any, contact your utility company.
- Look for damage to the electrical meter. If you notice any visible damage, do not attempt to turn reactivate the breaker.
Check Inside Your House for the Following:
- Embers that might have traveled into the attic through vents
- Phone service
- Alarms and security systems are working
- If the power is out, make sure all appliances are off and that there is no damage to the meter or home before turning on the main circuit breaker.
- If there is no electricity, use a flashlight to help you see inside your home and look for damage.
Look for Outdoor Conditions:
- Note utility poles and trees that are smoking or have been severely burned.
- Be wary around smoldering holes, as they could have hot coals.
- Do not touch white ash, as it can be very hot.
Report the Following Conditions:
- Stay away from fires and report them to law enforcement or call 911.
- Gas leaks. Call your gas company if you have a gas leak or notice damaged equipment.
- Damaged utility equipment. Damaged equipment, downed power lines and other damage should be reported to the utility company.
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