For some, school being back in session is precisely the right time to take a vacation. Our monsoons have been a welcomed arrival here in Arizona, but wildfire risk is still real despite our recent rain. Here are some tips if you are going on vacation to keep your home safe and make sure your travel plans are not affected by wildfires.
Before you leave for your vacation, make sure that you have also left your home well prepared in case a wildfire occurs while you are away:
- Make sure to close all windows and doors securely
- Remove anything flammable around perimeter of house, including any furniture, cushions, door mats, and trash cans
- Clean up all yard debris, including under decks and in rain gutters
Before setting out on a roadtrip:
- Secure Chains Dragging chains or anything else can throw sparks. Use appropriate safety pins and hitch ball to secure chains.
- Check Tire Pressure Maintain proper tire pressure. Driving on exposed wheel rims will throw sparks.
- Carry a fire extinguisher in your vehicle and learn how to use it
- Don’t drive your vehicle onto dry grass or brush. hot exhaust pipes and mufflers can start fires that you won’t even see—until it’s too late!
- Properly Maintain Brakes Brakes worn too thin may cause metal to metal contact, which can cause a spark.
- Off road motorcycles or other off road vehicles should have properly maintained spark arrestors.
Wildfires can also ignite from lightening and can start almost anywhere, so checking areas you are visiting ahead of time is important. According to the National Interagency Fire Center, as of August 16, 2018, 101 large fires have burned nearly 1.8 million acres nationally. The majority of the wildland fire activity continues to burn throughout the western states. Check conditions before you travel here.
Taking a few precautions before your trip can help give you peace of mind that you have done everything in your power to keep your home safe, that you will not have issues on the road, and you can go ahead and enjoy your vacation!