Fires in California: Be Prepared
There has been a recent outbreak of fires in California, the Saddle Ridge fire, the Tick fire, the Getty fire, and the Kincade fire. As such, it would be prudent for those who live in Encino, Tarzana, Sherman Oaks, and Studio City to familiarize themselves with what they can do to avoid fires in the first place and what they can do to be prepared for a fire should one erupt in their neighborhood.
As an initial matter, fires move fast; a fire can become life-threatening within 120 seconds, and can turn a home into a blazing inferno in 300 seconds. When a fire starts inside your home, it can take 30 seconds to become a major issue, and 60 seconds to fill your entire home with smoke; the smoke is usually what causes fatalities. On a larger scale, smoke can make it impossible to see and find your way out of your home or out of your neighborhood.
Prior to a fire, you should discuss an escape plan from your home; yes, it seems very silly when there is no threat, but every second counts. Experts recommend planning two escape routes from every room in your house (this is usually a window and the door to another room); you should make sure your windows can be unlocked easily. Experts also recommend practicing feeling your way out of your home.
Additionally, you should make copies of all the important documents you need and make sure to have a decent supply of cash on hand. In a worst-case scenario, power will be down and that will be the only way to purchase necessary goods; you should also create a “go bag” with about a week’s worth of supplies (water and food), batteries, and crank powered flashlights and radios.
When there is a risk of fire in your neighborhood, you are advised to back your car into your garage (for a quick escape, remember every second counts), leave your garage doors open, put all your pets in a single room so you can gather them quickly, and place your go bag in your car (if you don’t need to leave, you really only lost a few seconds of your life… rather than your actual life).
In the unfortunate event that there is a fire, you will want to exit your home by crawling or at least getting low (the smoke will be near your ceiling initially, but as your house fills up the noxious fumes will crawl lower and lower). Always feel a doorknob before opening a door when there is a fire – if the doorknob is hot or there is smoke around the door, use that second and leave the door closed. If you are trapped, block the crevices around the door with wet rags and towels to keep yourself safe.
At the Chernov Team we understand that knowledge is power, and given the recent turn of events, knowledge of fire safety is powerful knowledge indeed. Fires are no laughing matter, and can become life-threatening in a heartbeat. Stay vigilante, and be prepared.