Fire Safety for LHM Residents

by Jack and Barbara Rairden

 

Residents of Log Hill Mesa, for their own safety, should be acutely aware of the fire dangers in this area.  Fires can strike suddenly and often without warning within structures and/or the surrounding landscapes.  The Log Hill Volunteer Fire Dept. is on call at all hours of the day and night to respond to emergencies in the Log Hill Mesa Fire Protection District.  At the first sign of an emergency, call 911 and give them your name, address and a description of the emergency

Stay on the line as calmly as possible, to give the dispatcher all of the information requested. However, please be aware that in our rural fire district, there will be a time delay in response to a fire call because the firefighters are not stationed at the firehouse - it will take at least several minutes for them to leave home, drive to the station and to get themselves and the vehicles ready for departure.

Therefore, your first line of fire defense for your property is YOU!  The more that you and your family members pre-plan for an emergency, the better your chances for minimizing the loss of life and/or property!  However, remember no property is worth risking a human life!

The Log Hill Mesa Fire Protection District continues to work with Ouray County and the West Region Wildfire Council to enhance fire safety on Log Hill Mesa.  In 2010, a comprehensive Evacuation Plan was completed for the Mesa.  In 2011, the District hosted an inspection by the Insurance Services Office that raised the District's Public Protection Classification to a 5/8B.  This rating is a testament to the improved fire protection throughout the district.

In 2012, the Community Wildfire Protection Plan was completed.  Also in 2012, the Log Hill Mesa Firewise Council was formed. Log Hill Mesa received Firewise Community Designation later that year to become only the 3rd Firewise Community on the Western Slope.  The District’s Community Wildfire Protection Plan received the Firewise Community Protection Award in 2012.

Additional information regarding these accomplishments can be viewed on: the Log Hill Volunteer Fire Department Website, www.loghillfire.org, and the West Region Wildfire Council's Website, www.cowildfire.org

 

We offer the following suggestions to prepare for personal fire emergencies:

HOUSE FIRE PROTECTION

1. Install or have installed smoke detector(s) and carbon monoxide protector(s) inside your home and test them regularly.

2. Consider having a security and fire protection system installed.  Systems are available locally - installers can be found in the yellow pages under "Security Control Equipment".  A system will cost a few thousand dollars to be installed and will require a monthly or quarterly monitoring fee.  In case of an unauthorized entry into your house or a detection of smoke or excess heat, a loud local alarm will sound and a signal will be sent to a Central Monitoring Station - they will notify and dispatch local fire and police authorities.  This is especially important in low population areas where a fire could burn for a long time before it is noticed by neighbors or passers-by.

3. Powder-type fire extinguishers can be purchased for $20 to $30.  These should be kept in easily accessible locations throughout the house, the garage and vehicles.  Each family member should be taught the locations and proper use of these extinguishers.

4. An emergency checklist and evacuation plan should be prepared and posted - each family member should review this list periodically.  The list should include pulling (shutting off) the main electric breaker and closing the gas valve (natural gas or propane).  In case of an evacuation, a meeting place outside should be designated.

5. During warm weather, garden hoses with nozzles should be at each outdoor faucet.  These can be used to fight a fire inside or outside.

6. During cold weather, one or more garden hoses should be stored in a warm garage or basement to be used in case of a fire that cannot be controlled using the fire extinguishers.  An inside faucet that can be used to connect the hose should be identified - the water heater drain outlet is an alternate source of emergency water.

 

WILDFIRE PROTECTION

1.  Create a defensible zone around your house and all other structures on your property.  Ideally there should be no flammable material within 15 feet of structures - this includes woodpiles, trees, shrub and long grass.  A zone of 100 feet around structures should be thinned of flammable materials - trees and bushes should be well spaced and trees should be limbed-up to prevent a ground fire from extending up into the tree crown.  Contact Fire Chief John Rogers at 626-4095 and leave a message at Station 2 if you would like a member of the Log Hill Volunteer Fire Dept. to visit your property for suggestions in establishing defensible zones.

2.  Have garden hoses with nozzles at each of your outdoor faucets in order to defend your property.  However, if you are warned that the seriousness of the fire situation requires you to evacuate your property, do so immediately!

3.  Prepare an evacuation plan for you and your family members - this plan also should include you pets and livestock.  Have irreplaceable documents, photographs and any other treasured valuables in one central location so you can take them with you as you make your evacuation.

 

 

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