Health & Safety

July 17, 2017
 

Edwards Fire Dept. wants you to ‘ready, set, go’

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Timothy Johnson
Edwards AFB, Calif., Fire Department

Smoke fills the sky from a fire in San Bernadino County, Calif., last August.

The summer season is upon us and the usual hot weather and fire can make a nasty combination that can cause serious injury and potential loss of life and property.

How often do we show concern for fire safety?

Can you protect your home from wildfire damage?

Who do you call to learn about defensible space or in the event of an emergency should my home be effected by wildfire?

These are all questions you should be asking yourselves, your family and your community.

The Edwards AFB family is large, which includes members living in the Corvias Housing Community and Los Angeles and Kern Counties. Regardless of the geographical area you reside, fire safety is important to know to protect your families and your community.

A wildfire can begin many different ways, and depending on the vegetation of the land, fire characteristics will be different. When we define vegetation, we define it as bushes, trees, or grass, which may be dead or alive. This vegetation being exposed to high or extreme heat is volatile fuel for a fire and can be found as low as two feet in height and can reach in excess of 50 feet. Often you find homes located in close proximity to vegetation, which often creates a challenge regarding fire zoning, planning and evacuation.

The term urban interface is used by fire departments to incorporate a complete look into the areas that will be affected by wildfire and how to manage strict prioritization of homes and other properties. This is done to ensure the safety of the people living throughout the community. People living in areas that are identified as high priority will be asked to play their part in fire prevention and need to become educated in Urban Interface Property Owner principles to assist with keeping the community safe.

The theme for Los Angeles, Kern County and CAL FIRE is “Ready, Set, Go,” and as you follow below, you will understand how to protect your property and your community’s property by following these simple principles.

Be ready
Create and maintain a defensible space and harden your home against flying embers. Flying embers and ash can ignite vegetation that may be too close to your property. Look into using ember–resistant building materials. Proper building materials and defensible space may save your property. Clear vegetation 30-100 feet from your property.

Get set
Prepare your family and home ahead of time for the possibility of having to evacuate. Build an emergency supply kit you can use should your family be evacuated. Create a wildfire action plan and discuss this plan with your family and neighbors. Don’t forget about your pets. Make sure to have the proper emergency phone numbers

Be ready to go
Take the evacuation steps necessary to give your family and home the best chance of surviving a wildfire. Be prepared to evacuate immediately if it is advised by local authorities. Follow evacuation safety routes advised by authorities.

If you want to protect your family and community, you will visit the CAL FIRE, Kern and Los Angeles County web pages to understand how each fire emergency response organization actively involves the property owners in making their communities safer.

Here at Edwards, our Corvias Family Community requires the same attention as the surrounding counties, and although vegetation in the Corvias community may be different, the use of facilities and the type of care towards keeping the community fire safe needs to be a joint effort.

  • Charcoal grills should be used a safe distance from your homes; 25 feet from facilities.
  • Charcoal should not be thrown in any open field area or trash containers
  • Smoke in designated smoking areas
  • Camping events will be coordinated through the Edwards Fire Department for all campfires
  • Only authorized commercial-made fire pits or chimneys will be used in housing areas
  • Properly dispose of all waste material
  • Ensure to report all fires by calling 911, or by cell phone — 661-277-4540/4541

Maintaining a fire safe environment for your family and property can be challenging, and being educated about the protection of family and property is the goal of the Edwards Fire Department. Contact the Edwards Fire Department Fire Prevention Section at 661-277-3124 for questions related to fire safety and protecting you and your family during these hot summer days.

Read more about fire safety at the following links:
http://www.readyforwildfire.org/Prepare-For-Wildfire/
http://www.kerncountyfire.org/education/emergency-preparedness/wildfire preparedness.html
http://www.lafd.org/safety/education/ready-set-go




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