Fire Safety Guidelines Fire, Safety, Clear, Dry, Brush, The warm, dry climate and semi-rural landscape that has attracted us to the Palos Verdes Peninsula brings with it the potential for disaster each summer and fall. Although we have been very lucky here on the Peninsula in recent years, almost every year since 1982 wildfires in California have resulted in either gubernatorial proclamations of a state of emergency or presidential declarations of a major disaster Information Regarding Fire Safety Inside and Outside the Home
THAT DRY BRUSH IS WAITING TO BURN
CLEAR THAT DRY BRUSH

The warm, dry climate and semi-rural landscape that has attracted us to the Palos Verdes Peninsula brings with it the potential for disaster each summer and fall. Although we have been very lucky here on the Peninsula in recent years, almost every year since 1982 wildfires in California have resulted in either gubernatorial proclamations of a state of emergency or presidential declarations of a major disaster.

To reduce your risk of fire-related death, injury or property damage take these precautions to make the environment outside and inside your home safer:

Outside Your Home

  • Clear dry grass, brush and leaves out of your yard.
  • Remove dead limbs located over roofs and all limbs within 10 feet of chimneys.
  • Prune lower limbs within 6 feet of the ground on trees 18 feet high or taller to prevent ground fires from spreading to trees.
  • Thin out heavily wooded areas.
  • Remove weak, dead or leaning trees.
  • Vary the heights of plants, shrubs and trees, and provide adequate spacing between them.
  • Keep plants, shrubs and trees away from power lines.
  • Use fire-resistant plants to landscape.
  • Clear debris from the roof, gutters and downspouts.
  • Relocate firewood at least 30 feet from all structures and 10 feet from vegetation.
  • Keep gas and propane tanks at least 30 feet from all structures and 10 feet from hazards.
  • Replace wood shake and other combustible roofing materials with noncombustible materials.
  • Cover chimneys and stovepipes with non-flammable inch or less mesh screens.
  • Box and enclose roof eaves that extend beyond the exterior walls of the house.
  • Cover all attic and ridge vents with non-flammable inch mesh screens.
  • Make sure the address number of your house is clearly visible at the curbside.

Inside Your Home

Smoke Detectors

  • Make sure your smoke detectors are made and certified by an approved lab.
  • Install smoke detectors on ceilings inside each bedroom and in the hallway on every level.
  • Test detectors at least once per month.
  • Change the batteries every six months.

Fire Extinguishers

  • Ensure that fire extinguishers are approved by an independent testing lab.
  • Place fire extinguishers in easily accessible locations.
  • Teach responsible family members where they are located and how to use them.
  • Remember the word P-A-S-S when using the extinguisher:
    • Pull the pin.
    • Aim the nozzle at the base of the flames.
    • Squeeze the trigger.
    • Sweep the chemical side-to-side to extinguish the fire.

Plan for Evacuation

Develop and practice an evacuation plan for your home. Your plan should include:

  • A floor plan marked with all escape routes
  • Easily accessible exits for young children, seniors and persons with disabilities. Locate their rooms close to exits.
  • A list of valuables to take in an emergency. Store them in one place.
  • A designated place to reunite after evacuation
  • The location of animal shelters or other sites which house pets.

Work with neighbors to assist:

  • People with special needs.
  • People who need transportation to other sites.

Work with local emergency officials to identify:

  • Several routes out of your neighborhood.
  • Likely evacuation sites.

What to Do When a Fire Occurs

If a fire occurs while you are inside, remember the following:

  • Call 9-1-1 and tell the dispatcher where you are.
  • Feel the top and the bottom of the door with the back of your hand before exiting. Cautiously open the door if it is cool. Do not exit if the door is hot. Try your alternate exit instead. Repeat this step at every closed door.
  • Close doors behind you when evacuating to slow down flames, smoke and heat.
  • Help young children, seniors and persons with disabilities to evacuate.
  • Close the door and stay in the room if fire, smoke or heat are blocking all of your escape routes.
  • Keep smoke and fumes out by stuffing cracks around doors and vents with sheets, blankets, etc.
  • Open a window if no smoke is entering the room and place a sheet or a cloth outside as a signal for help.