Riverside County's Silver Fire is finally under containment, thanks to the hard work of some heroic firefighters and much to the relief of the Southern California community, which deals with similar devastating blazes in the dry heat of every summer. Unfortunately, it took 48 homes with it, which will be leading to a lot of work for Los Angeles remodeling contractors as they clear the space and get ready to help families rebuild.
Thankfully, no one was killed in the fire, although one civilian and a number of firefighters were injured. The fire is a good reminder that it's never too early to think about fire safety: you can't always save your home when a firestorm is moving in, but you can save yourself and your loved ones.
Some fire safety tips as we move into the driest part of the summer and face the dreaded Santa Ana winds in Southern California:
+Keep trees, shrubbery, and debris well away from your home to create a safe zone. It's especially important to mow the lawn in spring and summer to keep the grass down.
+Make sure your electrical system is in good shape; call an electrician to address sparking, hot outlets, and other issues promptly.
+Keep your fire detectors and carbon monoxide detectors working; check them regularly and replace the batteries every six months (the time change is a good time to remember to do that).
+Maintain a "go bag" in your car with the basics of what you'll need if you have to evacuate in a hurry, including copies of important documents, medications, and pet food.
+During fire season, listen closely to updates on fire conditions and follow any orders from officials. If you are asked to evacuate, do so promptly.