The state of California is currently in the middle of one of the most severe droughts on record. Over the past three years, the state has been forced to make huge changes in lifestyle in order to compensate for the lack of rain, resulting in multiple lakes being completely dried up. Droughts are common and can happen to any region at any time. It is important to know how to avoid fires in these dire situations, since water becomes a precious commodity.

With dry conditions comes the increased risk of a fire. Often, local government will enforce strict water restrictions that ban people from over-watering their lawns, or using too much water in general. These steps are good to help preserve precious water, but also mean that there is an increased risk of fire for people in the area.

The most important step to take towards fire safety during a drought is to avoid creating a fire of any kind. Do not burn any trash, debris, leaves or other materials outdoors, and exercise extreme caution when grilling. If there is a lot of leaves, dry brush or other materials around your home, try to move them as far away as possible to create a “safe zone” around your house.

If you store firewood at your home, make sure it is put away safely. Keep it at least 15 feet from your home and preferably somewhere uphill. Maintain your lawn and land around the home by eliminating any dry or flammable materials. Regular raking and leaf-removal can make a huge impact on your safety. If you do plant new plants, look for fire-resistant species that will be less likely to cause a blaze.

Avoid parking vehicles on grass, as the oils and heat can cause the dry grass to catch fire. If you have flammable materials such as gas, oil or paints, make sure they are stored in a cool place at least 30 feet from your home.

Make sure you educate your children on what a drought means and how it affects them. Teach them fire safety and how to keep themselves and others safe when at a higher risk for fire.

Droughts are a dangerous time for many reasons, and fires are one of the many things that can result from the hot, dry air. Do what you can to prevent a fire and keep your home safe, and you can help make it easier for your community to survive a drought.

For more on keeping your home safe, contact us at Crossfire Alarms.