How to Prepare for a Fire Emergency + Free Checklist

3V Gear How to Prepare for a Fire Emergency
2021 has been a record breaking year for wildfires. The Dixie Fire was the second largest wildfire in California's history. The United States isn't alone in devastating fires however. Siberia has had unprecedented wildfires emitting massive plumes of smoke spreading as far as the North Pole. 

When it comes to residential and wild land fires, they tend to be unpredictable and a force to be reckoned with. Being prepared for this emergency can seem like a daunting task, but having a plan in place makes all the difference when an emergency arises.

Wildfire Preparedness

Forming a perimeter around your house, free of branches, pine needles, leaves, sagebrush, etc., gives you a natural barrier from potential fires. A good rule of thumb is to have at least 25 feet around your home free of debris. The less fuel you have to feed the fire, the greater chance your home has of surviving. Here are some additional things to do to prepare in case of an evacuation:
  • Remove any flammable items from the exterior of your home (patio furniture, trash cans, etc.) and bring them inside.
  • Relocate your BBQ and turn off any propane tanks.
Make sure you have an emergency supply kit or go bag ready. Often times with wildfires you do have a little more time to evacuate your home, but may not have enough time to put together a go bag or evacuation bag on the spot. Having one ready to go will save you time and stress and will ensure you aren't forgetting critical items. We have created an evacuation checklist for the items you may need. Remember, this is just a starting point and you will need to adjust the list based on your personal situation and environment. Make sure you have these items prepared ahead of time.

In the case that you are being evacuated, here are some additional suggestions:
  • Know your communities emergency response plans.
  • Know which routes are best for you to evacuate.
  • Make sure your garden hose is connected. Firemen may need to use it.
  • Turn off your sprinklers. This can affect the water pressure in your area.
  • Close all doors, windows and vents inside your home.

A final suggestion is don't wait to be evacuated. It is often wise to leave before your local fire department puts the evacuation order out. Leaving early means you have more options for roads to be open, less congestion, and it leaves more room on the roads for emergency responders.

Home Fire Preparedness

home fire preparedness
Some of these suggestions may seem like a no-brainer, but can be an easy oversight for most homeowners when it comes to fire preparation. Install some smoke alarms and make sure you check they are working properly at least twice a year. A smoke alarm with dead batteries is useless. Fire extinguishers can be a great help and a quick solution to put out a small fire.

Have an evacuation plan set in place for your home and prep each family member. Make sure everyone knows and has practiced your plan a few times a year. Everyone in the home needs to know of at least 2 exits points from each room, if possible, for an emergency. Set a meet-up location where all family members can meet that is away from the danger. It is a good rule of thumb to have a secondary location in case the first location is not accessible.

3V Gear Fire Escape Plan
We have created a downloadable fire escape plan sheet that you can use with your family to create an escape plan that is specific to your situation and home.

Lastly, if you plan and run through different scenarios ahead of time, you will be much better prepared if an emergency does happen.


  • Ric

    My first wild land fire was 1962 and my last was 2002. I have had 2 house fires and you need to have bags ready to go as there is always a chance of a unforseen chance something can come your way. I was in the military in the 50s and 60s then went into law enforcement finishing my career as a training officer and I taught that Mr Murphy is always out there.

  • Adam Mielnicki

    This is a very smart decision to make. While a house fire never happened with my family, we did have a plan in place just in case. It also led my family to create alternative meeting plans if case we were away from the house and an incident occurred.

  • James Barlow

    ALL info was VERY informative and helpful. VERY well put together. Fire Depts could probably use ALL this info for training.

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