It’s Wildfire Season! Is Your Family Prepared?

It’s Wildfire Season! Is Your Family PreparedIt’s wildfire season in El Dorado Hills. As the realities of climate change intensify, you can’t always assume your home is outside of the wildfire zone, even if you are in a city or suburban location or in any area that has never been hit by fires before. After what we saw in Santa Rosa, CA and Oregon last year, all bets are off. It’s best to be ready. Are you and your family prepared?

Download Apps for Alerts

Download the Storm Shield Weather Radio app, available for iPhone and Android. Get alerts for inclement weather, including Fire Weather Watch and Red Flag Warning.

Gather an Emergency Kit

Yes, everybody says they’ve been planning to get a kit together, but now it’s time to do it. Pack your kit with blankets, rain gear, plenty of water, and convenient backpack food such as Cliff Bars and nuts. In California, it’s a good idea to have an earthquake emergency kit ready anyway and this can double as a wildfire kit. The San Francisco Chronicle has some great tips on what to pack.

Preparing Your Property

Create a buffer zone around your house. This involves clearing out any dead trees and brush material, maintaining a decent space between the home and the forest.

“People must do their part and create a space around their homes where fire can be better controlled as it approaches,” Fire Chief Kelly Keenan tells Mountain Democrat.

Install a Fire Resistant Insulated Garage Door

It’s also a good idea to install a new fire resistant insulated garage door. Talk to your garage door service company about what’s available and what they’d recommend.

Do You Have Battery Backup?

The wildfires a couple of years ago inspired some interesting legislation: All new garage doors and garage door openers installed after 2019 must have battery backup. The move was designed to ensure homeowners have access to their garage doors during a natural disaster. It was inspired by a California congressman whose neighbors had trouble evacuating their homes because of a power outage during the emergency.

But whether or not your garage door opener is new, battery backup is still a good idea. Even outside of an urgent emergency, battery backup ensures you conveniently have access to your garage door opener, even in a standard power outage like after a thunderstorm. The good news is you can purchase battery backup kits to be installed in any existing garage door opener. It’s a good idea for convenience as well as the safety of your family.

In an Emergency

If you have time, shut off all gas to your home. Unplug your garage door opener. Wet down the roof and any plants around your home. Shut off and cover any possible entryways to your home, including windows, vents, and doors.


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Why Won’t My Garage Open?

There are many reasons why your garage door refuses to open. It could be your cables have snapped or popped off. This could damage your car or be extremely dangerous if someone happens to be walking by at the time. Perhaps the sensitivity on the automatic opener is out of adjustment. This is pretty common when you’ve just installed a new opener onto an older door. Read the manufacturer’s instructions or look them up online to reset the settings. Your door may have come off track, which can happen if the track has become bent or if the door has simply jumped the track. It could be that your garage door has locked. You might not even realize it locks, but every garage door does. There is usually a locking knob or handle that can disengage the lock.