How Can I Make My Home Safer?
There are many ways to improve the safety of your home:
Make sure your address is clearly visible - This is an easy way to improve safety, by ensuring a quicker response from police, fire, and medical personnel. Many homes in our area are not clearly marked, and this can cause delays during an emergency. Make sure your street address can be clearly seen from the main access road, from both directions, especially at night. If you share a common driveway, all home addresses should be marked at the bottom of the driveway as well as at any splits. If you share a cluster of mailboxes, you still need to mark your individual driveway. Available from fire safety store.
CO and Propane detectors - Carbon Monoxide (CO) detectors and Propane detectors are also available and can detect hazardous situations that a regular smoke detector might miss. Available from fire safety store.
Keep smoke alarm batteries fresh - It is a good idea to change out all the batteries in all your smoke alarms when daylight savings time changes in the Spring and Fall. If you have battery operated CO or Propane detectors, replace those, too.
Portable fire extinguishers - Fire extinguishers are fairly inexpensive and can save your home. Everyone should have one or more: in the kitchen, near wood stove/fireplaces, near entry ways, etc. The multipurpose dry chemical (ABC) type works well on most fires. Be sure to get them reinspected on schedule, and it is a good idea to pick up a dry chem model once a year and turn it upside down to keep the powder from settling too much. Available from fire safety store.
Maintain defensible space - We live in a wildfire danger area. Every resident needs to be aware of the dangers and do as much as possible to make their home more defendable in the event of a wildfire. In the event of a major wildfire, local resources could be overwhelmed, and your preparation may make the difference in saving your home. Our Wildfire Mitigation Crew can advise you on this with a free property inspection.
Wood stoves/fireplaces - You should only burn dry, seasoned wood to reduce accumulation of flammable materials in your chimney. Get your chimney inspected once a year. This is especially important since many people in our area burn pine and it can cause build-up fast.
Call the fire department early - If you suspect a medical, rescue, or fire emergency, call the fire department early. It is much better to cancel a response than to call it in too late. The first few minutes of an emergency are the most crucial.
Open Burn Permits
Residents of the Boulder Heights area are permitted to burn wood and slash outdoors under some restrictions. For the latest rules and regulations, call the Boulder County Health Dept at (303) 441-1180 or stop by 3450 N. Broadway to apply for an open burning permit.
Here is the general procedure for open burning; contact the Health Dept in case the rules have changed recently:
you must have a permit first!
burning may occur year round at elevations above 6400 ft, on BLUE air quality days, as long as no special burn bans are in effect
you must call Boulder Communications (303-441-4444) and the BMFA Fire Chief (303-440-0235) on the day of the burn
the best time to burn slash piles is while there is snow on the ground, and no wind
attend all fires, and put them completely out when finished
call the fire dept if you would like some advice on open burning
Pine Brook Hills Fire Code
Here is a copy of the Pine Brook Hills Fire Code in Microsoft Word format. This contains regulations regarding open burning.
Find more info about wildfire preparedness from FEMA at http://www.ready.gov/america/beinformed/wildfires.html.