The arid landscape of the desert holds its own allure. Majestic mountain ranges, sweeping vistas and expansive views afford us desert dwellers with drama in three dimensions – including the weather. With the recent spate of wild fires, now’s the time to fireproof your Inland Empire and San Bernardino homes.

Here’s some tried and true tips, tasks, and common sense considerations to help keep your family and home safe — and prepared in fire season.

Keep Your Distance
Landscaping and plant choice are your first defense in fire prevention. Create a 30’ buffer zone around your home and plant native and drought tolerant varieties outside the “zone.” Keep plantings near your home to a minimum, and be sure to remove dead foliage, branches, and leaves regularly to prevent the accumulation of volatile tinder.

Xeriscapes are the perfect landscape choice for dry, arid climes. Create a 30’ zone around your home and limit your plantings to this area.

In the Gutter
Regular seasonal cleaning of your rain gutters will prevent the accumulation of leaves and other “tinder” materials right next to your roof. Depending on where you live and landscaping in your surrounds, we recommend checking on gutters once every four months, and cleaning when necessary.

Just Add Water
Use a humidifier to introduce moisture into the environment. Not only will it increase your personal comfort, but will prolong the life of your furnishings. Just like us, wood, furniture, fabrics, etc. all get a bit weathered in this dry heat.

Filter Filtration
Now that you’ve added a little moisture to your environment, let’s clean the air quality too. Dirt, dust, and other airborne particulates reduce the efficiency of your heating and cooling systems, and increases risk of fire. Give us a call, we’d be happy to check, and replace your worn filters.

Regular cleaning of air filters improves the efficiency of your Heating and Air Conditioning system.

In the Gutter
Regular seasonal cleaning of your rain gutters will prevent the accumulation of leaves and other tinder materials right next to your roof. Depending on where you live and the landscaping in your surrounds, we recommend checking on gutters once every four months, and cleaning when necessary.

Just Add Water
Use a humidifier to introduce moisture into the environment. Not only will it increase your personal comfort, but also it will prolong the life of your furnishings. Just like us, wood, furniture, fabrics, etc. all get a bit weathered in this dry heat.

Stowed Away
Never store firewood, plywood, lumber or other flammable materials adjacent to your home. In a perfect world, store these items outside the “zone” in a shed or storage unit, near its perimeter for convenience.

Do It Yourself
During fire season, be sure your garden hoses are hooked up and long enough to reach the outer portion of your “zone.” In the event of a fire emergency, a prepared homeowner can keep their roof, structure and plantings wet.

Watch Your Butt
Smokers – we encourage you to quit! But, if you must, please dispose of your smokes properly. Never flick a lit cigarette out of a car window – or anywhere, for that matter. Be sure to use an ashtray for both ashes and butts and carefully extinguish your butts when finished. Dispose of properly after all danger of fire has passed.

Handle Your Candles
Never leave a lit candle unattended. Be sure to place any open flame away from drapes and other flammable materials. Extinguish completely before leaving the room.

Picnic on the Patio
As much as we love to be outdoors and get our grill on this time of year, it’s best to limit use of your BBQs and grills during peak fire season. If you must cook outdoors, have water or a fire extinguisher at the ready. Do your cooking indoors, and enjoy a picnic on the patio. Fireworks, campfires, fire pits – should all be avoided.

Have a Plan
Just like the old Boy Scouts motto, it’s never a bad idea to be prepared. If you live in a two-story building, be sure the upper bedrooms are equipped with emergency ladders, which can be hung from a windowsill. Create evacuation plans for your family – and really practice them. It’s easy to find your way crawling down a hall when it’s not filled with smoke.

Be sure you have a plan in the event you need to evacuate. Enter emergency services numbers into your phones, and determine a meeting place for your family in the event of separation. And don’t forget about your pets and animals – call local shelters for information on where to keep your pets and livestock.

Lastly, if you’ve been told to evacuate, please heed local authorities and leave burn areas immediately.

These simple, common sense tips will help keep you, your family and pets safe year-round.

Looking for more information about improving energy efficiency in your home? Schedule an appointment with one of our highly trained Home Energy Auditors to perform a CARRIER® 360º WHOLE HOME ENERGY AUDIT.

Be sure to contact Redlands Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning for all your service and accessory needs. We provide “Service Worth Bragging About” to the Inland Empire including; Redlands, Yucaipa, Loma Linda, Beaumont, Highland, Riverside, Banning, and Rancho Cucamonga.