Spring and Summer Safety Tips


Fire Hazard Reduction Standards
Kensington is in a "Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone." Fire District Ordinance and State Law requires all home and property owners and renter to remove flammable vegetation around their residences. Protecting your home and community from the devastating effects of wildfire is the property owner's responsibility.

The Kensington Fire Protection District is requesting voluntary compliance and citizen involvement in the reduction of fire hazards for our community. Fire department personnel will check for compliance with these standards in May or June. For the past several years, voluntary compliance by the community has been outstanding and we look forward to your cooperation once again.

The following vegetation management standards must be met by all property owners in Kensington in order to maintain the community's fire safety. These standards are designed to reduce the threat of wildfire spreading between vegetation and structures, and from one property to another.

1. Maintain a 30-foot firebreak from structure or to property line. Only well-tended, properly irrigated ornamental vegetation is allowed. Remove all dead, diseased or otherwise flammable material.
2. Trim trees 10 feet from the ground and remove dead and dying branches, loose and papery bark and fallen branches which may "ladder" fire into the canopy.
3. Cut trees back 10 feet from chimney openings.
4. Install a spark arrester on chimney.
5. Keep roof and decks free of leaves, needles or other dead vegetation.
6. Build or re-roof your home with a minimum Class B fire resistive roofing materials.
7. For areas of your property extending 30 to 100 feet from your house, reduce height of flammable vegetation (dry grass and weeds to 6 inches or less; and brush to 18 inches or less from the ground).
8. Fire resistive plants and shrubs are recommended.
9. Place address numbers where they can be seen easily from the street to ensure quick emergency response.
DOWNLOAD A PDF FILE OF THE FULL "FIRE HAZARD REDUCTION GUIDELINES" , OR CALL THE FIRE DEPARTMENT (510) 215-4450

CLICK HERE FOR A LISTING OF FIRE RESISTANT, DROUGHT-TOLERANT AND HIGHLY FLAMMABLE PLANTS

If Your House Catches on Fire Tonight, Will You Wake Up In Time?
Smoke detectors have saved many lives and may save yours. More than 50 percent of fatal residential fires take place at night when people are sleeping. If a fire starts while your family is asleep, smoke detectors will wake you up. They can make the difference between life and death in a fire emergency.

Position smoke detectors on the ceiling just outside each bedroom. If you have a multi-level home, install a detector on every level. If you sleep with your bedroom door closed, or are hard of hearing, place an additional detector inside your bedroom.

Test detectors monthly and change batteries twice a year. Daylight savings time is a perfect time to change your batteries. Change your clock-change your batteries! If you follow this routine, you will be certain to have a working smoke detector if there is a fire in your home. To ensure reliability, detectors should be replaced every ten years.

The Kensington-El Cerrito Fire Department has a smoke detector program that provides and installs smoke detectors for persons who cannot provide or install them for themselves. If you or someone you know does not have a smoke detector, and cannot supply or install one, please contact the fire department at 215-4450.

If your house does catch on fire, get everyone out and stay out! Practice escaping with your family. Know two ways out of every room, and have a meeting place outside where everyone will meet in the event that you are separated.