As Gatlinburg, Tenn., and other areas across the southeastern U.S. battle uncharacteristic wildfires brought on by months of dry weather, it’s a good time to brush up on fire safety tips that are often overlooked by even the most dedicated preppers.
Wildfires are a fact of life in much of the American West. But for other parts of the country, the threat of raging forest fires is a problem that receives little thought and less preparation.
Even if wildfires aren’t a frequent occurrence in your area, however, a basic fire safety plan is a must in every home.
As with all emergencies, prevention is the best place to start. Here are a few fire safety basics that you should never overlook:
The Office of Emergency Management (OEM) says that during a fire emergency, it is important to crawl low in smoke towards the nearest exit covering the mouth with a cloth and once outside never go back. This is because some 30 percent of fire deaths are due to smoke inhalation. Moreover, tall buildings should be evacuated via stairs not elevators, which can act as chimneys during fire.
Fires can happen at a moment’s notice and, depending on the type of structure in which you live, can engulf a home in a matter of seconds. This is why, as with any type of disaster preparedness, it’s important to have a properly stocked bugout bag at the ready for when there’s little time to think on the way out the door.
Here are a few practical guides to help you organize your bugout kit:
Wildfires like those currently catching many southerners off guard pose different challenges than fires which originate and are usually contained to a single home. Given the perfect storm of conditions, these fires can burn for days and weeks across thousands of acres. Officials may order evacuations under such conditions.
If, however, you are willing and able to defend your property against encroaching flames, there are a few things you can do in advance that will make it easier to protect your property.
In general, fire safety experts recommend planning to defend a 100 foot radius around any building you are trying to protect from a wildfire. The preventative measures above can help— and combined with other efforts, could save your home. In addition, you might consider keeping extra fire extinguishers and flame retardants on hand; installing a sprinkler system or keeping on hand sprinkler attachments that could help fight back flames; or considering how to use tools and equipment at your disposal to quickly build firebreaks in the landscape if necessary.
The post Southern wildfires remind us of an often overlooked prep appeared first on Personal Liberty®.