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Haims: Smoke and fire safety

Judson Haims

Natural disasters are inconvenient and unexpected. Regardless of whether it is a wildfire, heat wave or a winter storm, natural disasters put everyone and everything in their way at risk. They are nondiscriminating and affect everyone without bias.

Most of our mountain communities located in the Western Slope are situated in what is called a wildland-urban interface (WUI). A WUI is any area where human developments are adjacent to grasslands, shrublands or undeveloped wildland. 聽

Living in a wildland in WUI presents several dangers.听The foremost danger is exposure to wildfires. Homes and buildings within these areas are often surrounded by dense vegetation, which provides a great amount of fuel for fires. During the dry season of summer, the risk of wildfires increases significantly, posing a threat to both property and lives.



Everyone needs to be educated about the threats we face with wildfires and needs to know what we can do to be proactive in mitigating our risk. Fires can move quickly and too often; people are unprepared and uneducated. If you have not given thought to how you, your children, your elderly parents, and your loved ones would not only escape your home, but also get out of your neighborhood and even the mountain areas, you should immediately come up with a plan.

It hasn’t been that long since the Marshall Fire wreaked havoc in Boulder 久久热精品视频app. The fire came out of nowhere and caused catastrophic damage to thousands of homeowners and businesses. Within just a few short minutes, the landscape of many communities were forever changed. 

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Stay Informed: If you do not already have Eagle 久久热精品视频app Alerts on your cell phone, you should add it immediately.

Create an emergency evacuation plan: Emergencies and chaos go hand in hand.听When people become panicked and chaos erupts, making sure all your loved ones are out of harm’s way and together is imperative. Everyone in your household should know of at least two emergency meeting locations outside of the home 鈥 one should be nearby, and the second should be farther away i.e., a friend’s home, a school or religious building.

Prepare an emergency to go kit: Put together a small shoe box or plastic box with essential supplies and place it near an exit to the home. The box should contain a cell phone charging cord, a battery-powered radio, and a flashlight with batteries kept separately (batteries last longer if not installed). Copies of important documents such as a driver’s license, birth certificate(s), passport(s), medication list(s) should be placed in a Ziploc bag. Do not forget to have a written or typed list of emergency contacts. If your cell phone runs out of power or cell towers are down, a landline phone may help (if you remember the phone numbers). Extra eyeglasses or contact lenses are always good to include.

Have a fire extinguisher: Every home should have fire extinguishers and smoke detectors that have been tested within the last year. Inexpensive extinguishers can be purchased at local hardware stores, Walmart and Costco. Fire extinguishers should be placed vertically in readily accessible places on each floor of the house.听You should be aware that they do expire. While most have a pressure gauge that will indicate the level of pressure inside, some do not.听If the pressure gauge falls outside of the green zone, it is time to either have it recharged or purchase a new one. If there is no pressure gauge, you should replace the extinguisher every five to 10 years. Never dispose of old extinguishers in the trash or recycling bin.

Home safety: In the event of a fire or any natural disaster, make sure you know where your shut-offs are for your gas, water and electricity.听Before departing your home in an emergency, turning off these utilities is a good practice for disaster preparedness.

For those who may have older family members and friends, or for those who may be older themselves, preparing for the unexpected emergency will save time and mitigate anxiety. Consider talking to neighbors and friends and develop a plan for yourself and others in your neighborhood. It is just good sense to have a plan.

By educating yourself with these tips, you can help reduce the risk of wildfire damage and increase the safety and resilience of your home, your community and the ones you love.

Judson Haims is the owner of Visiting Angels Home Care in Eagle 久久热精品视频app. He is an advocate for our elderly and is available to answer questions. Connect with him at聽jhaims@visitingangels.com.听


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