Photo by Faith Berry
Many of us are making last minute vacation plans, before the kids go back to college or school, and cooler weather sets in. To make good memories there are some safety tips to keep in mind.
Before heading down the road, make sure that you left things in order at home, in case a wildfire occurs while you are away. Some tips to follow before you leave:
- Make sure that all doors and windows are shut. If there is a wildfire embers will find a way into your home.
- Remove flammable items from your patio, such as chair cushions, coco mats, planters, trash cans, brooms etc. Either put them in a shed, inside the house or far away from your home.
- Make sure pine needles and other debris is cleaned up, and follow Firewise USA ® tip sheets for maintaining landscaping around your home.
Before you leave make sure you check the National Interagency Fire Center Report, to make sure that your pre-planned vacation site is not being impacted by wildfire. This is important especially if you are traveling in high wildfire prone regions.
Check out your recreational vehicles and make sure that they are well maintained. Following some simple safety tips will make sure that you don’t spark a wildfire as you head down the road. Some tips to keep in mind include:
- Off road motorcycles or other off road vehicles should have properly maintained spark arrestors.
- Never park a vehicle that has been running on dry grass. Hot parts from underneath your vehicle can spark a fire.
- Tow equipment is should be properly maintained. Dragging chains can cause sparks that can ignite wildfires.
- Check for proper tire pressure, this can not only save you gas as you travel, but also prevent exposed wheel rims from under inflated tires igniting a wildfire.
- Complete proper vehicle maintenance and carry a fire extinguisher that you know how to use.
When you arrive at your destination, be aware of local fire conditions and follow all campground rules.
- Check first to see if you are allowed to have open fires. If campfires are allowed, make sure that you keep them in a designated fire rings. Never build a fire too large, and be aware of overhanging limbs.
- Don’t engage in recreational activities at your campsite that can ignite wildfire like fireworks.
- Tiki torches may not be allowed in your campground, check with your local park ranger/manager, or better yet bring and use portable solar lights.
- If you are using citronella candles in the evening to keep bugs away, make sure that you keep them on a non-flammable surface and put them out before going to bed.
By proactively taking simple steps before and during your vacation, you can make sure that your vacation if fun and leaves you and your family with lasting good memories. Check out the Firewise USA® website for more information about wildfire safety.