Contractors and homeowners in Washoe County are being asked to do their part to protect lives and property during this particularly dangerous fire season. The Washoe County Department of Building and Safety is issuing a fire season warning to homeowners and licensed contractors reminding them to take precautions while on a project or on the job. This includes obtaining tools to quickly extinguish a fire that starts while completing yard work, mowing, or weed removal to reporting hazardous conditions from larger construction projects to the Washoe County Department of Building and Safety at (775) 328-2020.
Many residents and contractors are surprised to learn that even small sparks from vehicles and equipment can start a large wildfire in these conditions. Don Jeppson, Building Official for the Department of Building and Safety says regardless of the project size; don’t take any chances with these extremely dry conditions. “For large or small projects, no matter where you are located, as a minimum, you should have at hand a shovel, water, and a fully charged fire extinguisher. All outdoor activities including yard work, mowing, weed abatement, and camping should have these fire prevention tools nearby.”
The suggested tools can be purchased at a local hardware store for under $50 and would also be a good addition to emergency equipment for a vehicle. Jeppson says it’s important to remember that contractors or homeowners could be held financially accountable for starting fires even by accident. Extra caution should be taken on days when the National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning, which is a fire condition notice meaning there exists the highest risk and most dangerous conditions for fire. Red Flag Warnings can be checked atwww.nws.noaa.gov .
Jeppson continued, “You can also help us help you. If you see fire hazards in the construction field, bring them to the attention of the contractor or homeowner and contact your local fire or building department. An example of a fire hazard in a construction zone is as simple as equipment parked on weeds or welding near dry vegetation. Also, remember to report to authorities any suspicious activities, vehicles and/or people that may be involved in starting a fire or dumping trash in open space around urban areas.”