USA — Shortly after Verdugo Hills were charred by a brushfire, the cities of Burbank and Glendale stepped up its promotion of fire prevention, proclaiming this week as Fire Prevention Week.
This is most appropriate considering the fires we had, Mayor Jef Vander Borght said. It is important to think about fire prevention.
Vander Borght encouraged the residents to participate in fire prevention activities at home, school and the workplace.
Interim Chief Tracy Pansini said the theme for this years national prevention week is Candles with Care.
Pansini said that message is a strong reminder since a candle was the cause of an apartment fire in Pasadena which left more than 75 residents homeless.
I know they are beautiful but they need 12-inch and they should not leave them unattended, Pansini said.
Glendale Fire Departrment spokesman Capt. Bill Lynch encouraged residents to check their smoke detectors as well as practice an escape plan yearly.
If something bad happens, what will you do? Lynch asked.
Shortly after Verdugo Hills were charred by a brushfire (in photo), the cities of Burbank and Glendale stepped up their promotion of fire prevention. File photo by Terry Miller
Lynch said along with practicing the escape plan residents should also select a meeting point outside the house.
Lynch said residents should check their smoke detectors to make sure they work and replace their batteries at least twice a year.
Its a good reminder that when you change your clock, spring forward and fall back, to use that same ladder you used to change your clock to change your batteries, Lynch said.
Along with Fire Prevention Week, this is also an opportunity for fire officials to raise awareness about wildfire preparedness.
Glendale fire officials said the hardest aspect for firefighters is protecting a home that has wood roofshingles. Often these shingles are very flammable; the department suggests that homeowners replace those shingles with non-combustible material.
It is extremely important [to be] prepared for any natural disaster, Lynch said.
Lynch said it was evident that with the recent Topanga Fire that razed over 24,000 acres and three structures, that they were prepared.
The key was vegetation management and how that helped firefighters battle the blaze, he said.
One of the primary keys to being prepared is clearing defensible space around their homes so that it can not carry fire up to their homes, he said.
In the city of Burbank residents that live in the mountain fire zone were required to remove all wood and shingle roofs by August. However all homeowners in the city have until 2012 to remove wood and shingle roofs due to the possibility of burning embers.
In honor of fire prevention week, Burbank firefighter will be handing out literature on Friday in front of the AMC Theater along North San Fernando Road in Burbank, Pansini said.
The Glendale Fire Department will be traveling to all the schools in the district in their fire safety mobile. The district will also be conducting fire drills this entire month, Lynch said.