Prevent Wildfire Year-Round by Avoiding These Hazards
True or False: You don’t have to be concerned about fires when it’s raining or snowing outside.
Although it may be cold and wet outside, it’s warm and dry inside your house, so that alone is a reason to stay fire-aware all year round. But there are also other safety issues to keep in mind this time of year, as well as ways you can protect yourself and the community from these not-so-obvious hazards:
Store firewood away from your house.
If you have a wood-burning fireplace, you have your own personal “controlled burn” and fuel source to keep an eye on. So don’t store firewood close to the house where it could become a hazard, especially in Zone Zero.
Don’t set off New Year’s fireworks.
Fireworks aren’t just illegal in Butte County—they’re also extremely dangerous. But you can still have some colorful fun to celebrate the holiday without shooting embers into the air:
- Glow sticks: The bright colors look great waving around in the night.
- Blowing bubbles: A classic way to fill the air with fun, especially with a battery-powered bubble-blower.
- Elephant toothpaste: You kind of have to see it to believe it.
- Laser light show: Shop around for budget-friendly, home-size options.
- Confetti poppers: A little messy, but a fun combination of noise and color.
- Bubble Wrap®: See how this town celebrates with our favorite noisy (and don’t worry, recyclable) packaging material.
Be ready for weather-related power outages.
Avoiding candles when the power is out is something people should be doing nationwide, fire-risk area or not. Always have battery-powered lanterns and flashlights on hand along with a good supply of batteries. Keeping some solar lighting options charged up wouldn’t hurt, either
Keep fire pits under control.
As you cozy up by your outdoor fire pit, resist the urge to get the fire roaring. But before starting the fire in the first place, check your local regulations to make sure your area even allows fire pits.
Be cautious with space heaters.
Indoor space heaters draw a lot of power, so always keep them plugged into independent receptacles connected to separate breakers. Don’t plug anything else into a receptacle with a space heater plugged in, as overloading circuits can easily lead to fire. And when you aren’t home, unplug the space heater entirely.
Water can be a problem, too.
Fire isn’t the only element to watch out for when rain and snow are outside. We’ve all seen what water can do in terms of flooding and mudslides around California homes. When wet weather is in the forecast, shore up flood- and mud-vulnerable areas with sandbags or whatever fortifications are best for your property. In addition to protecting your home, you may be preventing the defensible space you’ve worked on creating from washing away.
Here’s wishing you a warm and safe winter!