Surge in ‘Home Fires’ Has LA County FD Offering Safety Advice as Fire Season Approaches

Over the last couple of weeks, the Los Angeles County Fire Department (LACoFD) has seen a concerning surge in home fires across the County. As residents continue to follow the Safer At Home Order, L.A. County encourages families to be mindful of fire hazards at home, and to practice fire escape safety steps with family members and loved ones.

“In home fires, a properly-prepared and maintained window, clear of obstacles, may provide the quickest, safest way out,” stated Los Angeles 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. Now is the time to speak with all family members and individuals living at home about how to stay safe from home fires.”

LACoFD has also recently released a new family-friendly fire safety tool, named the Family Instructions for Rapid Escape (FIRE) guide, and an accompanying coloring book. Both are available at no cost and can be downloaded from LACoFD’s website, fire.lacounty.gov.

The FIRE guide walks families through simple steps to ensure a fire-safe home, and teaches new strategies to safely escape if a fire strikes at home. LACoFD asks that residents make sure they have working smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors on each level of their home.

Additionally, with warmer weather approaching, wildfire season is also coming soon to L.A. County. LACoFD is planning for wildfires and looking at what the wildland season may look like during the COVID-19 pandemic. For residents who live in a wildland interface area, now is a good time to:

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.
Look at ways to “Harden your Home,” by protecting vents near eaves and consider installing double-pane windows. Please make sure your address is visible to firefighters.
For more fire safety tips, visit fire.lacounty.gov.

Additionally, as the weather heats up, the County wants to highlight the importance of water safety for families who own or access swimming pools:

Never take your eyes off a child that is near or in a swimming pool; children can “drown without a sound.”
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 for drowning; nothing substitutes adult supervision.
Learn CPR, you never know when you might need this life-saving skill.

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