Authorities reminded Southlanders Friday to be aware of fire hazards at home as residents follow the Safer At Home order — especially as temperatures increase and as wildfire season approaches.
"As residents continue to follow the Safer At Home order ... be mindful of fire hazards at home, and practice fire-escape safety steps with family members and loved ones," a Los Angeles County Fire Department statement said.
"In home fires, a properly prepared and maintained window, clear of obstacles, may provide the quickest, safest way out," said county fire Chief Daryl L. Osby.
"In the event of a fire, crawling low in the smoke and trying to find your way to the front door isn't the most effective way to escape, because residential fires often originate in the living room or kitchen, where these doors are located," Osby said.
The fire department recently released a new family-friendly fire safety tool, named the Family Instructions for Rapid Escape — or FIRE — guide, and an accompanying coloring book.
Both are available at no cost and can be downloaded from LACoFD's website.
As warmer weather approaches, wildfire season is also coming soon to
L.A. County, Osby said.
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The county fire department is planning for wildfires and analyzing what the wildland fire season may look like during the COVID-19 pandemic, Osby said.
For residents who live in a wildland interface area, Osby recommended the following actions:
- Clear leaves and other debris from roofs, gutters, and decks;
- Remove flammable materials like firewood stacks and low-hanging trees around your roof to create a defensible space around your home;
- Prepare your family's "Ready, Set, Go!" wildfire action plan;
- Protect vents near eaves and consider installing double-pane windows;
- Make sure your address is visible to firefighters.
For more fire safety tips, LACoFD's website.
Also, as the weather heats up, don't forget about water safety for families who own or have access to swimming pools, as follows:
- Never take your eyes off a child near or in a swimming pool;
- Don't rely on fences or barriers and inflatable devices for safety in a swimming pool. Even if your child has had swimming lessons, they are still at risk of drowning; nothing substitutes adult supervision; and
- Learn CPR, because you never know when you might need this life-saving skill.