In celebration of National Fire Prevention Week, the City Council proclaimed October 9-15 as National Fire Prevention Week during their meeting on September 26. Consistent with this year’s theme of “Fire won’t wait. Plan your escape”, the City and Five Cities Fire Authority (FCFA) reminds Grover Beach residents to have a home fire escape plan and stay prepared for potential wildfires.
“We know that people often make choices in fire situations that jeopardize their safety or even cost them their lives,” said Fire Chief Steve Lieberman of the Five Cities Fire Authority. “We need to do a better job of teaching people about the potentially life-saving difference that escape planning and practice can make; we need to motivate them to action.”
Chief Lieberman says this year’s “Fire won’t wait. Plan your escape” campaign highlights steps people can take to help quickly and safely escape a fire.
• Make a plan. Visit each room in your house. Find two ways out.
• Pick a family meeting place outside.
• Practice your plan twice a year.
According to CAL FIRE, California fire departments responded to 3,501 fires in 2020, and 145 fires in San Luis Obispo County. FCFA aims to reduce the occurrence of fires and associated injuries through prevention and protection education.
Smoke alarms are critical tools in fire prevention and response because they can sense smoke well before a person can. Working smoke alarms have been proven to decrease the risk of home fire deaths by half. All smoke and carbon monoxide alarms should be checked and replaced on a regular basis and meet the needs of all household members, including those with sensory or physical disabilities.
To assist residents with their at-home planning efforts, FCFA created an Emergency Planning document that addresses everything a household should consider when preparing for an unexpected disaster. Community members are also encouraged to create a disaster supply kit equipped with food, water, prescription medications and other essential supplies.
As the statewide drought persists, California cities are at higher risk of wildfires in weeds and dry brush. Residents can take proactive measures to safeguard their homes by abating combustible vegetation throughout the fire season and maintaining a defensible space around their properties. In accordance with the Grover Beach Municipal Code (GBMC), all weeds and grasses, on or in front of residential properties and alleyways, are required to be no taller than four inches.
Residents and businesses are encouraged to plant fire-resistant and drought-tolerant plants, such as hedging roses or bush honeysuckles. To reduce evaporation, only water plants at night or in the early morning and implement a drip irrigation system, which reduces water usage by up to 70% compared to the average sprinkler. Community members who install a smart irrigation system that monitors moisture conditions and automatically optimizes the amount of water provided are eligible for a rebate through the City’s rebate programs. This opportunity also applies to grass removal and replacement and high efficiency toilet fixtures, showerheads, aerators and washing machines.
On October 8 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., FCFA is hosting an Open House at Station 1 in Arroyo Grande so the public can connect with local firefighters and learn more about their day to day operations. Visitors are invited to observe vehicle extrication demonstrations and view fire apparatuses. They will also review the importance of a fire escape plan and how households can create one to ensure the protection of all residents and pets.
Please contact FCFA at (805) 473-5490 with any questions about fire safety, fire-resistant landscaping and emergency preparedness.