In recognition of the month of May as a Building Safety Month, City of Big Bear Lake as well as the Building and Safety Department would like to encourage all residents of our city to participate in various activities related to fire and live safety, earthquake preparedness, emergencies, energy and water conservation.

There are numerous small projects which may be done around the house to achieve increased safety for occupants.

Some of these small projects are:

Make your street address number clearly visible from road, if your street number has a backlight check if light is operational during a nighttime. Clearly visible street address numbers greatly help first responders quickly locate your property in case of emergency.

Check if emergency escape and rescue windows or doors located in ebedrooms or sleeping rooms are operational, and not obstructed by any furniture or similar items. These windows and doors are important escape features during emergencies such as a fires or earthquakes. They also provide point of entry into the structure for first responders in case of such an emergency.

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms save human lives every day. Periodical testing is important to verify proper operation of these alarms. Check batteries and replace if needed. If alarm is older than 10 years, please replace alarm with a new one. Make sure that every bedroom or sleeping area is equipped with operational Smoke Alarms. Every floor level also requires Carbon Monoxide Alarm. For more detail about required locations of Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Detectors please click on following link:

Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Smoke Alarms

https://www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq/where-should-i-place-carbon-monoxide-detector

Clean up yards, decks, rain gutters, and roofs from combustible fuels such as pine needles or dry weeds. Trim or remove dry vegetation, bushes, and dead trees. We are living in high fire hazard area. Every reduction of combustible materials helps to keep your house more resistant to fires and helps our Fire Department to be more successful in firefighting efforts to protect our neighborhood.

Check if water heater tank is provided with two seismic straps to prevent falling over causing water damage and possible gas leak during an earthquake event.

Replace your air filters in central heating unit. Some filters on home heating systems need to be replaced every three months if the house is occupied full time. Visually check your filters and replace as needed.

Test your GFCI electrical receptacles and breakers by simply pressing TEST button located on electrical receptacles and breakers.

Inspect or have a professional inspect your decks, rail guards, exterior stairs for aging, cracks, loose joints and over all structural soundness. This is especially important for decks which are elevated high above ground level and decks with a spa.

If your residence uses wood burning fireplace or stove, chimney shall be inspected and cleaned at least one time each season to prevent buildup which may lead to chimney fire. It is a good idea to have a fire extinguisher located,  in the same room or area as a fire burning stove or fireplace.

Check for leaking kitchen and bathroom faucets, toilets, garden hose bibs and irrigation equipment, inspect for water leaks under kitchen and bathroom sinks, and water heater closets. Early leak detection conserves water and may save expenses associated with water damage repairs.

Not all Building Safety projects and recommendations can be listed in this article, but we believe that our effort will motivate you, our residents, to take your and your family safety and wellbeing  into consideration  and participate in Building Safety activities as recommended.