Listed here are several suggestions that you can implement immediately. Others need to be considered at the time of construction or remodeling. You should also contact your local fire department, forestry office, emergency management office or Federal Ministry of Environment and Housing for information about local fire laws, building codes and protection measures. Obtain local building codes and weed abatement ordinances for structures built near wooded areas.
Find Out What Your Fire Risk Is.
- Learn about the history of wildfire in your area.
- Be aware of recent weather.
- A long period without rain increases the risk of wildfire.
- Consider having a professional inspect your property and offer recommendations for reducing the wildfire risk.
- Determine your community's ability to respond to wildfire.
- Are roads leading to your property clearly marked?
- Are the roads wide enough to allow firefighting equipment to get through?
- Is your house number visible from the roadside.
Learn and teach safe fire practices.
- Build fires away from nearby trees or bushes.
- Always have a way to extinguish the fire quickly and completely.
- Install smoke detectors on every level of your home and near sleeping areas.
- Never leave a fire--even a cigarette--burning unattended.
- Avoid open burning completely, and especially during dry season.
- Always be ready for an emergency evacuation.
- Evacuation may be the only way to protect your family in a wildfire.
- Know where to go and what to bring with you.
- You should plan several escape routes in case roads are blocked by a wildfire.
Create Safety Zones Around Your Home
All vegetation is fuel for a wildfire, though some trees and shrubs are more flammable than others. To reduce the risk, you will need to modify or eliminate brush, trees and other vegetation near your home. The greater the distance is between your home and the vegetation, the greater the protection.
Cover house vents with wire mesh. Any attic vent, soffit vent, louver or other opening can allow embers and flaming debris to enter a home and ignite it. Cover all openings with 14 inch or smaller corrosion-resistant wire mesh. If you're designing louvers, place them in the vertical wall rather than the soffit of the overhang.
Use fire resistant siding. Use fire resistant materials in the siding of your home, such as stucco, metal, brick, cement shingles, concrete and rock. You can treat wood siding with UL-approved fire retardant chemicals, but the treatment and protection are not permanent.
Choose safety glass for windows and sliding glass doors. Windows allow radiated heat to pass through and ignite combustible materials inside. The larger the pane of glass, the more vulnerable it is to fire. Dual- or triple-pane thermal glass, and fire resistant shutters or drapes, help reduce the wildfire risk. You can also install non-combustible awnings to shield windows and use shatter-resistant glazing such as tempered or wireglass.
What to do Before a Wildfire?
If you see a wildfire, call 09-115. Don't assume that someone else has already called. Describe the location of the fire, speak slowly and clearly, and answer any questions asked by the dispatcher.
Before the Fire Approaches Your House
- Evacuate. Evacuate your pets and all family members who are not essential to preparing the home. Anyone with medical or physical limitations and the young and the elderly should be evacuated immediately.
- Wear Protective Clothing.
- Remove Combustibles. Clear items that will burn from around the house, including wood piles, lawn furniture, barbecue grills, tarp coverings, etc. Move them outside of your defensible space.
- CloseProtect Openings. Close outside attic, eaves and basement vents, windows, doors, pet doors, etc.
- Remove flammable drapes and curtains. Close all shutters, blinds or heavy non-combustible window coverings to reduce radiant heat.
- Close Inside DoorsOpen Damper. Close alt doors inside the house to prevent draft. Open the damper on your fireplace, but close the fireplace screen.
- Shut Off Gas. Shut off any natural gas, propane or fuel oil supplies at the source.
- Water. Connect garden hoses. Fill any pools, hot tubs, garbage cans, tubs or other large containers with water.
- Pumps. If you have gas-powered pumps for water, make sure they are fueled and ready.
- Ladder. Place a ladder against the house in clear view.
- Car. Back your car into the driveway and roll up the windows.
- Garage Doors. Disconnect any automatic garage door openers so that doors can still be opened by hand if the power goes out. Close all garage doors.
- Valuables. Place valuable papers, mementos and anything you can't live without inside the car in the garage, ready for quick departure. Any pets still with you should also be put in the car.
- Preparing to Leave
- Lights. Turn on outside lights and leave a light on in every room to make the house more visible in heavy smoke.
- Don't Lock Up. Leave doors and windows closed but unlocked. It may be necessary for firefighters to gain quick entry into your home to fight fire. The entire area will be isolated and patrolled by the Nigeria Police Force.
Heat kills by pushing the human body beyond its limits. In extreme heat and high humidity, evaporation is slowed and the body must work extra hard to maintain a normal temperature.
Other Disasters and Management
See information related to other types of disaster management and precautions