With Texas in an extreme drought, and the increased risk of fire, it is essential that everyone should be especially cautious and to be aware of simple things that can potentially cause dangerous fires.
Safety tips during this dry season to reduce the chances of fire include:
While on the road:
Ø Do not discard cigarettes from moving vehicles; use ashtrays. With the conditions we have now, lit cigarettes do cause fires and can be disastrous in times of drought and high fire risk.
Ø When pulling off the side of the road, stay off of dry grass areas. Park vehicles so that the exhaust does not come in contact with dry grass, leaves or weeds.
Ø Adjust the safety chains on your trailers to ensure they don’t drag and create sparks that can cause roadside fires.
Ø Avoid cooking outdoors during this drought season. If you do cook, never leave barbeque grills unattended. Place your grill on concrete or your driveway away from your home or any structures. If using charcoal or wood, make sure that the fire has been extinguished by soaking it with a garden hose before disposing of the coals. Remember that there is currently a burn ban in Fort Bend County and no uncovered flame or open pit is allowed.
Ø During this time, do not burn household trash in barrels.
Ø Check lawnmowers and farm equipment for properly working spark arresters.
Ø Mow lawn at least 30-50 feet away from your house and water to create defensible space.
Ø Cut back or remove any dry and dead landscaping plants or bushes around your home. Clear leaves from your roof and gutters; rake them away from the sides of your home.
Ø Move anything that will burn far away from structures, items like firewood, compost piles, brush piles, etc.
Ø Notify the electric company when dead trees or overhanging limbs endanger the electric wires.
Fire Safety for you:
Ø Practice fire safety with your family. If you see suspicious fire or smoke, call 911.
Ø Clearly mark driveway entrances with address and street names.
Ø Plan escape routes away from your home by car and foot. Have a meeting place with your family.
Less than 10 percent of all wildfires are started by weather, such as lightning! More than 90 percent are started by careless acts of people and arsonists. Please take the extra time to utilize good fire safety practices.