With low humidity and high temperatures in Arizona - as well as human error and carelessness - house and brush fires are a potential threat can be highly dangerous, so it's important for everyone in your family to be aware of proper fire prevention and safety. Most fires can be prevented with common sense and with the following simple fire safety tips that will help you, your family and your home stay safe.
Outdoor Safety Tips
- Keep grills, cookers and fryers at least three feet away from your house and shrubs or bushes.
- Use a metal screen over wood-burning fires to keep sparks from floating out.
- Properly extinguish wood-burning fires prior to going to bed or leaving the area.
- Never toss a cigarette, firework or fire starter into landscaping, yards, drains, on decks, or on driveways and roadways.
Indoor Safety Tips
- Test smoke alarms on a monthly basis to make sure they work. Change the batteries every six months.
- Have your chimneys, fireplaces, wood stoves and central furnace serviced once a year.
- Close the lid on all flammable products and put them away after using them.
- Use ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) in all electrical receptacles (outlets) in kitchens, bathrooms and other wet areas.
- Store a fire extinguisher in the kitchen; 65% of all fires start in the kitchen. They should have an ABC rating, making them usable for all types of fires.
- Never leave burning candles unattended and keep them away from upholstery or window coverings.
- Create multiple escape plans and practice them with your family. Make sure children understand how to escape in the event of a fire and pick a safe meeting place outside the home.
- Keep cooking appliances clear of combustible materials such as rags, towels and packaging materials.
If there’s one thing that Daisy Mountain Fire and Medical Department Chief Mark Nichols wants people to realize about the weather, it’s that the massive winter and spring rains will lead to ripe conditions for wildfires. “People think all the moisture helps, and it will up north; but down here in the Valley, it leads to desert bloom and overgrowth, and fertile land ripe for wildfire,” he said.
The ACC is working with BrightView Landscape crews to conduct proactive trimming of brush behind walls and view fences. A five-foot buffer from the rear of homeowners’ view fences is being trimmed back, rather than the normal three feet. As of June 18, more than 12 miles of view fence brush clearing has been completed in the community. Many of the washes are Natural Area Open Spaces (NAOS) or protected conservation zones and may not be altered beyond limited brush clearance for fire safety. Learn more about NAOS areas.
Homeowners who allow their trees to grow over iron view fences and block walls and touch plants in the natural wash areas are at higher risk. The ACC and HOAs advise homeowners to address overgrowth. Please be mindful of not allowing these branches to touch the plants in the wash.
Learn more about what it means to be Firewise.