All residences should have an Emergency Prompter Card similar to the one shown below by their telephone
In an emergency DIAL 911
I am calling from Cabin number _____ in the ______________ tract at Huntington Lake.
State the nature of the emergency: __________________
My name is ______________, I will remain here until help arrives and my contact number is (___) ___ - _____.
(Do not call the fire station or one of the firefighters directly! This only SLOWS the dispatch of all needed resources)
Working with our associates in the CAL FIRE and the USFS we can help owners understand the details of "Public Resources Code 4291 REDUCTION OF FIRE HAZARDS AROUND BUILDINGS" This document essentially specifies the details of what each owner is obligated to do as far as ground and vegetation maintenance around their residence. Done well, this effort can not only reduce fire risks around your residence but also help promote a healthier forest. Cal Fire has prepared several excellent documents and videos that can assist you in preparing your residence.
Follow this link to CAL FIRE's information on preparing for fires:
Note: The Forest Service and CAL FIRE have different standards for clearances.
Maintenance of the fire extinguishers in your residence
We strongly encourage all owners to maintain their fire extinguishers on an annual basis and to be familiar with their use. To support this, we have, in the past arranged with the Jorgensen company from Fresno to be on site during the annual pancake breakfast, sponsored by the Huntington Lake Association to service extinguishers. While we do not offer this service every year, we encourage you to annually inspect your extinguisher, make sure it is fully charged, and review its operating instructions.
Maintenance of Smoke Detectors
Early warning saves lives and smoke detectors provide that early warning. Make sure you change the batteries and check it at least annually! They all have a small test button on the front that when pressed emits the warning sound briefly. If it does not do this, first replace the battery and retest it. If it still does not work, replace it as soon as possible.
A Note about smoke detectors:
There are two basic ways that smoke detectors work: the ionization method and the photo-electric method. The ionization type are best at detecting fast moving, flaming fires, while the photo-electric ones are much better at detecting smoldering fires. Less expensive units use only one method of detection, however there are models that use both methods at once. For the best protection for you and your loved ones choose "dual sensor" smoke detectors.
Keep your Chimney Clean
Fireplace usage is common both as a heat source and as part of the mountain ambiance. While there is abundant firewood in our forests not all of the available firewood is dried and cured before being used as fuel in our fireplaces. Burning relatively "green" wood causes a build up of creosote in the chimney. Additionally, when a wood stove is set to burn slowly, the build up can be very rapid. We have seen situations where cabin owners had not cleaned their chimney in many years and after starting a fire, the chimney exploded flame into the cabin from the sudden ignition of the creosote. We have consulted with the people at Mountain Chimney Sweep in Shaver Lake and they recommend a period of no more than 5 years between cleanings with more frequent intervals if the fire is used more than just in the summer.
Make sure we can get into your residence ... Remember 12 by 12!
In order to provide medical, fire, and emergency service to you we must be able to drive a very large vehicle to your residence. In most cases we need to bring at least two and in some emergencies many more large vehicles to your residence. To get to a cabin with our fire engines we need a 12 foot wide by 12 foot high clearance. Thought should also be given to widening sharp curves and stabilizing culverts and road edges for our big heavy vehicles. If such a clearance is not provided, we will definitely be delayed in getting to your cabin and in an emergency, and be it fire or medical, rapid response is important.
Carbon Monoxide Detectors.:
We strongly recommend the installation and use of carbon monoxide detectors. in cabins, condos, motor homes and homes. These devices are especially important for those who heat their homes with wood stoves and/or fireplaces in the winter. Carbon Monoxide, released as a fire burns, is both colorless and odorless and can kill without warning.
CO detectors should be placed outside bedrooms and there should be one on every floor of your residence. These units loose their sensitivity over time and should be replaced every five years. As with smoke detectors, batteries should be replaced annually, however some newer units have batteries with five year life spans that last the life of the unit.
Working together, we can minimize the emergencies we have around the lake.
But we in the Department need your help!