Tuesday, December 27, 2016

December 27, 2016 at 6:00 PM. Hacienda Rd Closed at skyline

Hacienda Rd. in La Habra Heights will be closed starting at 6 PM at Skyline Dr. for several hours due to wires down across the roadway in several locations. Please use Harbor Blvd and Colima Road to avoid delays.

La Habra Heights Fire Assists L.A. County Fire on Rollover Traffic Accident

On December 26, 2016, the La Habra Heights Fire Department responded as part of automatic aid with Los Angeles County Fire to the intersection of Whittier Blvd and Beach Blvd on a single vehicle roll over traffic collision. Upon arrival firefighters discovered one vehicle which rolled over into the gas station parking lot, landing on it's roof. The car sustained significant damage to the passenger side and all airbags were deployed.

The driver was out of the vehicle on arrival and had suffered a fractured ankle. La Habra Heights Firefighters assisted with patient care and loading. The patient was transported to a local hospital by private ambulance with L.A. County paramedics. A tow truck flipped the vehicle back onto it's wheels for removal.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Close Your Door At Night To Help The Fire Fight!

Preventing the spread of a fire throughout the house, especially at night will give you and your family the best chance of escaping unharmed. Keeping your bedroom door closed at night and closing doors when escaping a fire in your home will help prevent the spread of fire and buy the Firefighters some additional time to protect your home.

The La Habra Heights Fire Department encourages you to follow the advice of the fire safety professionals at the Firefighter Safety Research Institute

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Smoke Alarms Save Lives and Property

On December 11, 2016 at 2:00 P.M., the La Habra Heights Fire Department responded to a reported residential structure fire on the 900 block of Cancho Ln. in La Habra Heights. Upon arrival firefighters found a small fire in an upstairs living room which had been extinguished by the homeowner. Firefighters extinguished the remaining material and overhauled the room. Damage was limited to the wood floor and minimal contents.

The fire started when a burning log rolled out of the fireplace into a pile of combustible material. At the time of the fire, the resident was working in a remote location on the property and was unaware that a fire had started. Fortunately, other members of the family, upon returning home, were walking towards the remote section of the property when they heard the activated smoke alarms.

Upon entering the home to investigate, the residents were met with heavy smoke. 911 was immediately contacted and the homeowner extinguished the fire with a garden hose. 
Due to code violations, the Building Department, Code Enforcement, and Fire Department has been working with the homeowner to gain compliance with local building and fire codes. The residents were ordered last month to install working smoke alarms throughout the structure, remove pack-rat conditions, repair stairways, and clear access and egress routes for safety.

It was clear when examining the sequence of events that without properly working smoke alarms, the structure would have sustained major damage and possibly loss of life.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

La Habra Heights Pays Tribute to Firefighters killed in the 1955 "Hacienda Fire"

The La Habra Heights & Los Angeles County Fire Departments are dedicating a monument and plaque to the six firefighters who lost their lives on September 2, 1955, while fighting the “Hacienda Fire” in the City of La Habra Heights. The Dedication will be on January 7, 2017 at 11:00 a.m.

Lunch will be served after the ceremony at the La Habra Heights City Hall and Fire Station #1.

All are welcome! 

City Hall and Fire Station #1 are located at 1245 N. Hacienda Road La Habra Heights, CA 90631.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Preparing for Winter Storms with Sandbags

Even though the start of winter is right around the corner, La Habra Heights’ residents can pick up sandbags at the Fire Department or City all year round. The sandbags will need to be filled. Sand is available at the back parking lot at The Park. Residents will need to bring a shovel to fill bags. 

Sandbags, when properly filled and placed, will redirect storm and debris flows away from property improvements.

  1. Fill sandbags one-half full. Sand is suggested if readily available; however, sand is not mandatory, and any local soil may be used.
  2. For a more durable bag with increased effective life, mix 10 parts of sand or soil with one part of cement. The materials can be mixed and placed dry. After all bags are in place, a light sprinkling of water is recommended. This technique is only effective with burlap sandbags and will not work with plastic sandbags.


Fold top of sandbag down and rest bag on its folded top as shown in the illustration on the right.

It is important to place bags with the folded top toward the upstream or uphill direction to prevent bags from opening when water runs by them.

Stacking Sandbags

Care should be taken to stack sandbags in accordance with the illustrations. Place each sandbag as shown, completing each layer prior to starting the next layer. Limit placement to two layers unless a building is used as a backing or sandbags are pyramided (see illustrations below).
Sandbag Stacking Against Buildings

Pyramid Sandbag Stacking

Directing Debris Away From Buildings 
  1. Sandbags will not seal out water. 
  2. Sand and soil filled burlap sandbags deteriorate when exposed for several months to continued wetting and drying. If bags are placed too early, they may not be effective when needed. 
  3. Sandbags are basically for low-flow protection (up to two feet). Protection from higher flows requires a more permanent type of structure.
Controlling Debris or Storm Flows in Streets 

Directing Flows Between Buildings 

Building Protection

   Sliding Glass Door Sealing



Do not use straw or bales of hay in lieu of sandbags. They do not perform as well as sandbags and may be washed away.

Brush Clearance: An Investment towards a Safer Community

Courtesy of txdot.gov

Prevention, early detection, and rapid response against invasive plants are investments to you and your neighborhood. Control costs increase exponentially over time if infestations of invasive plants are allowed to persist. 

One mature tumbleweed, for example, can spread up to 250,000 seeds and germinate with very limited amounts of moisture. This allows tumbleweeds to dominate other vegetation and can become even a greater nuisance during the worst of droughts

Invasive plants such as tumbleweeds should be abated quickly and aggressively to prevent infestations and to reduce the risk of a fire endangering you and your loved ones.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Major Quake in San Andreas Fault Could Be Twice as Damaging as Previously Thought

A newly released analysis from CoreLogic reveals that a major earthquake along the San Andreas fault could damage twice as many homes as previously thought.

The global property information and analytics firm based its data on revised earthquake risk science from the U.S. Geological Survey’s Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast.

The forecast concludes that a large temblor could occur simultaneously in Northern and Southern California. READ MORE

A map shows California's topography, including areas along
 the San Andreas fault.        SILVIA FLORES, FILE PHOTO

Monday, October 31, 2016

Driver Transported to Trauma Center in La Habra Heights Traffic Accident

On Saturday October 29, 2016 the driver of a vehicle traveling Southbound on Hacienda Rd. near West Rd. lost control of his car and went off the roadway striking a tree with the driver side of the vehicle.

The force of the impact pushed the car back into the roadway, coming to rest in the Northbound lane. The driver suffered serious injuries and was treated and transported to a local trauma center by La Habra Heights Firefighter/Paramedics.

The cause of the accident will be investigated by the L.A. County Sheriffs Department.

Friday, October 28, 2016

La Habra Heights Appoints New City Manager

On October 13, 2016, the La Habra Heights City Council confirmed the appointment of Jarad Hildenbrand as the new City Manager.

Hildenbrand will replace Interim City Manager Thomas Robinson effective December 16, 2016.


Saturday, October 22, 2016

La Habra Heights Fire Department Awarded $870,000 SAFER Grant

La Habra Heights, California

An $870,000 grant has been awarded to the City of La Habra Heights Fire Department by the United States Department of Homeland Security.

The funding was provided via the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response (SAFER)grant program.

“We are very pleased to see the Federal government actively supports the excellent work being done by the La Habra Heights Fire Department,” says Mayor Kyle Miller.  “The residents of La Habra Heights are very proud of the cost-effective work our volunteer Fire Department has done for many years to keep our community safe.”
The SAFER grants program provides funding directly to fire departments and volunteer firefighter interest organizations throughout the nation to help increase or maintain the number of trained, "front line" firefighters available in their communities. The goal of SAFER is to enhance the local fire departments' abilities to comply with staffing, response and operational standards established by the National Fire Protection Association.
The La Habra Heights Fire Department provides Firefighters the opportunity to work on a fire engine, as a firefighter, responding to 911 emergencies in a professional setting. This experience helps them transition to a paid, career fire department with greater success. For this reason other fire departments actively recruit from La Habra Heights. 

Of the roughly eighty firefighters working for the Department, over 60% are successful at achieving their goal of becoming a career paid firefighter each year.
The grant duration totals of $870,000 over a four year period to assist the Department with Recruitment and Retention efforts for Firefighters and Paramedics. There are no cost match requirements or long term obligations for the City.
The grant provides funding for one Recruitment and Retention Officer to coordinate both recruitment and retention duties. This Officer will not have emergency response obligations. In addition to covering salary and benefit costs for this officer, the grant also includes funding for recruiting costs and equipment.  

The grant provides funding over the next four years to offset the costs of hiring new recruits; $104,000 for structural personal protective equipment valued at $4,000 per firefighter, $80,000 for medicals exams, $100,000 for training, $18,000 for new uniforms, and $16,000 for website development. 

“We intend to use these Federal funds very prudently as we continue working to provide the highest level of professional fire protection services to the La Habra Heights community,” says Fire Chief Doug Graft.

The grant award comes just days after the La Habra Heights Fire Department was rated in the top two percent of the 48,000 departments across the nation by the Insurance Services Office (ISO).  The organization upgraded the La Habra Heights Fire Department from a Class 5 ranking to a Class 2 effective September 1, 2016.  Areas included in the ISO evaluation included: 911 dispatch capability, Fire Department command staff, apparatus, automatic and mutual aid agreements, staffing levels, training, and fire prevention activities.  In addition, the water supply and fire hydrant system was evaluated.

Los Angeles Area Regional Training Group Preps for Disaster Response

Training As One from LACoFD TSS on Vimeo.

Southern California is the perfect place to live, but it is also a perfect target for terrorism. 

In this video, Harrison Ford describes how the 31 fire and emergency service agencies that serve Los Angeles created the Los Angeles Area Regional Training Group (RTG) to work together to provide a coordinated response in the event of a large scale disaster of terrorist event. 

The La Habra Heights Fire Department is a proud members of the Los Angeles Area Fire Chiefs Association. As a member, our Firefighters receive the same training opportunities afforded to other Los Angeles County Fire Departments.

Whittier Police Offer Amateur Radio Operation Class

Are you interested in serving your community during a disaster? 


The program consists of three (3) days of training leading to a Technician Class License.

You must attend all three (3) days AND pass an FCC exam

WHEN:       Friday, November 4, 2016, 6 PM - 9 PM
                     Saturday, November 5, 2016, 8 AM - 4 PM
                     Sunday, November 6, 2016, 8 AM - 4 PM

WHERE:     Whittier Police Department, EOC
                     13200 Penn St. Whittier, CA 90602

COST:          Fee - $10, includes all materials, FCC examination fee and light refreshments.

CONTACT:  Participants must pre-register by calling Whittier’s Emergency Management Division
                     at (562) 567-9810.

Seating is limited to 30 seats.

This class is sponsored by the City of Whittier and Rio Hondo Amateur Radio Club.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Firefighters Respond to Sheared Fire Hydrant

On October 15, 2016, La Habra Heights Firefighters responded to a reported sheared fire hydrant. On arrival, firefighters found a fire hydrant which had been struck by an automobile, flowing like a geyser. The driver left the scene prior to the arrival of fire personnel.

Firefighters assisted the La Habra Heights Water District to shut down the fire hydrant. Fortunately, there was minimal damage to the surrounding properties.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's office is investigating the incident.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

La Habra Heights Recommends NFPA Escape Planning

Escape planning

Your ability to get out depends on advance warning from smoke alarms and advance planning.

Create a home escape plan and develop and practice a home fire escape plan using NFPA's home escape plan grid (PDF, 1.1 MB).

Safety Tip: Fire can spread rapidly through your home, leaving you as little as one or two minutes to escape safely once the alarm sounds. Read all of NFPA's escape planning tips and download the NFPA free safety tip sheet.

In 2014, there were an estimated 367,500 reported home structure fires and 2,745 associated civilian deaths in the United States. Fire can spread rapidly through your home, leaving you as little as one or two minutes to escape safely once the alarm sounds. A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire.

Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home. Smoke alarms should be interconnected. When one sounds, they all sound. Pull together everyone in your household and make a plan. Walk through your home and inspect all possible exits and escape routes.

Households with children should consider drawing a floor plan of your home, marking two ways out of each room, including windows and doors. Also, mark the location of each smoke alarm. For easy planning, download NFPA's escape planning grid (PDF, 1.1 MB). This is a great way to get children involved in fire safety in a non-threatening way.

Video: Have some fire-safety fun with The Let's Hear It For Fire Safety Kids. They sing and dance about what to do if there's a fire - Get Outside and Stay Outside!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Palm Tree Maintenance Prevents Wildfires

Palm Tree Maintenance: According to the California Invasive Plant Council, Mexican fan palms are extremely invasive, and palm trees with untrimmed fronds harbor rats and snakes, and can be a fire hazard if neglected.

There are many other types of palm trees that are lower-maintenance, more fire-wise and environmentally better choices. Mexican fan palms can become exceedingly tall, and what makes it an extraordinary fire hazard is the “petticoat” of dead fronds that stay on the tree from year to year if not removed.

The dead fronds may be easily ignited, and in a fire, the fronds can fly all over, igniting new fires where they land. Very tall palm trees are dangerous to trim, so it is recommended that you hire only the most qualified personnel to perform the work. If you have Mexican fan palms on your property, check to make sure they are being maintained to reduce fuel for a potential fire.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

La Habra Heights Traffic Accident Sends Three to Hospital

On October 1, 2016 at 3 AM, La Habra Heights Firefighters responded to a head on traffic collision on Harbor Blvd near Kashlan Rd. Upon arrival La Habra Heights Firefighters found a two car traffic collision with three patients complaining of injury.

Firefighters used extrication tools to open the drivers door to remove the injured driver.

La Habra Heights Paramedics with AMR Ambulance transported two patients to UCI trauma center in fair condition.

Los Angeles County Fire Department assisted  the La Habra Heights Fire Department by providing patient care and transporting one patient to a local hospital in stable condition.

Harbor Blvd. remained closed for several hours.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Woman Hit By Car Critically Injured

On September 29, 2016, La Habra Heights Firefighters responded to a citizen's report of a pedestrian struck by an automobile on Hacienda Rd. just south of City Hall in front of Osornio Park in the city of La Habra. 

Photos by Rick McClure

Engine 71 and Engine 72 responded and found an adult female in critical condition after being struck by an automobile. Paramedics began rendering Advanced Life Support to the injured woman. 

L. A. County Engine and Squad 191 and La Habra 1 Ambulance arrived on scene and due to the location being in the County area, patient care was transitioned to L.A. County Fire. 

Due to the patients condition, LACo Engine 191 requested an air ambulance to transport the patient to a local trauma center. 

La Habra Heights Engine 71 and 72 set up the helicopter landing zone in the adjacent soccer field to ensure the safety of bystanders. Firefighter Paramedics loaded the patient into the waiting helicopter and the patient was transported to the LAC/USC Medical Center in critical condition.

Patient is loaded into L.A. County Air Squad 11 for transport

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Ready.gov Announces "America's PrepareAthon Day"

As a community, La Habra Heights can never be too prepared. Visit the Ready.Gov website for tips and information about National Preparedness month. Wildfire season is a 24/7/365 possibility in Southern California, don't get caught unprepared.

America's PrepareAthon! is a grassroots campaign for action to increase community preparedness and resilience. Join others around the country to practice your preparedness!

L.A. County Emergency Mass Notification System

The La Habra Heights Fire Department encourages all residents to take advantage of the new Los Angeles County Emergency Alert System

Los Angeles County has implemented an emergency mass notification system that will be used to contact County residents and businesses via recorded phone messages, text messages or e-mail messages in case of emergency.

The system, called Alert LA County, will be used by the County’s Emergency Operations Center to notify residents and businesses of emergencies or critical situations and provide information regarding necessary actions, such as evacuations.

The system utilizes the telephone companies’ 911 database and is able to contact land-line telephone numbers, whether listed or unlisted.  If the call is picked up by an answering machine, the system will leave a recorded message.  If the number called is busy or does not answer, the system will redial the number in an attempt to deliver the message.  The system is also TTY/TDD compatible.


Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Get Involved, La Habra Offers Free CERT Training

In a continuing effort to expand upon citizen involvement in public safety programs the City of La Habra Heights has been informed that the City of La Habra is offering free Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training.
CERT training will develop a citizen’s disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization and disaster medical operations. They will learn how to prepare for emergencies, what supplies to have, how much food and water, as well as how to protect their families in an emergency.
The next session will be on October 1st, 8th, and 15th. To sign up for the CERT training please contact La Habra’s Emergency Management Coordinator, David Gonzalez, at 562-383-4306 or dgonzalez@lahabraca.gov

In addition, citizens can also think about participating in the Great California Shakeout on October 20th. This event will help you and your family be more prepared to survive and recover quickly from California’s next big earthquake. For more information about participating please visit:  www.shakeout.org/California.

Get Involved, La Habra Offers Free CERT Training

In a continuing effort to expand upon citizen involvement in public safety programs the City of La Habra Heights has been informed that the City of La Habra is offering free Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training.
CERT training will develop a citizen’s disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization and disaster medical operations. They will learn how to prepare for emergencies, what supplies to have, how much food and water, as well as how to protect their families in an emergency.
The next session will be on October 1st, 8th, and 15th. To sign up for the CERT training please contact La Habra’s Emergency Management Coordinator, David Gonzalez, at 562-383-4306 or dgonzalez@lahabraca.gov

In addition, citizens can also think about participating in the Great California Shakeout on October 20th. This event will help you and your family be more prepared to survive and recover quickly from California’s next big earthquake. For more information about participating please visit:  www.shakeout.org/California.

La Habra Heights Firefighter Practice Vehicle Extrication

Training is the cornerstone of any successful rescue during emergency situations. The Firefighters in La Habra Heights constantly train, using the tools which are available at the scene of an emergency. The ability to lift a 20 ton piece of machinery off a trapped victim or use the extrication tools to cut up a car when someone is trapped but be well thought out and planned in advance.

Firefighters use cribbing and Air Bags to lift vehicle of victim


Tuesday, August 30, 2016

September is National Preparedness Month! Don't Wait... Communicate

Communication is the key to emergency planning. Sometimes planning is the hardest part or preparation.
"Preparation doesn't require doing everything, but it does require doing something"
Approach your planning like you would if you were having a BBQ for Labor Day. There are so many moving parts to planning a BBQ. Who to invite. Getting the BBQ ready. Do I have propane in the BBQ? What are the sides dishes and drinks. Then there is the timing... How long will the steaks take to cook? Medium? Rare? Well Done? .... AHHHH!!!! So Many Decisions!!!.
Disaster preparation is no different than planning a BBQ. Break it into small parts and address each one individually. Break it into smaller parts, finish that one piece, then move to the next.
The La Habra Heights Fire Department encourages everyone to start with a few basic steps.
1.   COMMUNICATE YOUR PLAN today. It may not be a complete plan, but it is a good starting point.
2.   Download the FEMA Disaster Preparedness App to help you get your plan going.
Make a plan. Communicate
 Download the FEMA App
Download the FEMA Disaster Prep APP

Preventing Zika by Following Some Simple Steps

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

There are no locally acquired vector-borne cases of Zika reported in California. There are 2,245 travel-associated cases reported in the continental United States, 170 laboratory confirmed travel-associated cases are in California, and 40 of those are in Los Angeles County. Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes are present in Los Angeles County, however no Zika Virus has been identified in vectors at this time.


How to Prevent Zika Virus Infection

Avoid travel to areas with Zika virus disease   
  • All people who do travel to areas with Zika should protect themselves from mosquito bites.
  • Pregnant women should avoid travel to areas with Zika because of the chance of severe birth defects in the baby, if the mother gets infected.
  • Currently, there is no evidence of local mosquito-borne transmission of Zika in Los Angeles County.    
Avoid mosquitos when traveling to affected areas       
  • Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved bug spray. These will contain DEET, Picaridin or IR3535 as ingredients.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants or clothing specially treated to avoid mosquito bites.
  • Stay indoors when possible and make sure any open windows or doors have screens to keep mosquitos out.
 Pregnant women should take extra precaution because of the link to birth defects        
  • Pregnant women should avoid traveling to areas with Zika and, if they do go, avoid mosquito bites.
  • If you are pregnant and traveled to an area with Zika, call your doctor and talk about your travel, even if you aren’t sick.
Zika virus can be sexually-transmitted
  • If you are pregnant and your partner traveled to an area with Zika, see your doctor and talk about their travel.
  • Men who live or have traveled in a Zika-affected areas and whose partner is pregnant are advised to properly use condoms during sexual activity or abstain from sex with the pregnant partner throughout their entire pregnancy.    
Public Health is Working for You

Due to the rising concern about Zika virus, Public Health has been quick to respond by:
  • Investigating possible cases of Zika virus infection in our communities.
  • Updating our website and sharing information and education on Zika virus with residents.
  • Reaching out to medical providers and people more likely to travel to countries with Zika.
  • Working closely with vector control agencies.

Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes are present in Los Angeles County, however as of August 29, 2016, no Zika Virus has been identified in vectors..

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Wildfire! Why Evacuate Early? Oakland Hills Fire 1991

The constant drum of words continues to sing the song over and over from every Fire Department that has the threat of a wildfire in their community. EVACUATE and EVACUATE NOW!

So why do Firefighters stress the importance of evacuating early and not waiting to see if you can "Wait it Out"? Why don't we want you staying to try to protect your home? Because as Firefighters most of us have "Been There... Done That" sometime in our career. A wildfire is an ugly beast that you really don't want to meet.

The Oakland Hills Firestorm, October 21, 1991, Oakland, California. The fire ultimately killed 25 people and injured 150 others. The 1,520 acres destroyed, included 2,843 single-family dwellings and 437 apartment and condominium units.

This video will give you a pretty graphic example of the chaos, confusion that occurs during a wildfire. What you can't experience is the amount of heat that radiates hundreds of yards in front of the fire, the blowing embers that look like snow, yet sting like bees, or the inability to catch a breath because of the thick rancid smoke, and don't forget the burning eyes and complete loss of the ability to even open your eyes.

Now... Imagine being a Firefighter trying to get into a community to fight the fire, but you can't get in because people are stranded in their cars because the thick smoke has blocked the road or caused the engine to quit running. The Firefighters are trapped, burned over and injured, their lives changed forever.

Protect your community by letting us do our job. Prepare early. Leave early. If we can't protect your home, you can't protect your home. Don't risk your life or the life of a Firefighter by thinking you can stop a wildfire.


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

LHHFD Firefighters Extinguish VW Fire

On August 16, 2016 La Habra Heights Firefighters responded to Avocado Crest Rd. and Skyline Crest Rd. on a reported auto fire. Firefighters were able to extinguish the fire in the engine compartment and prevent the spread of the fire into the passenger area or surrounding brush. No injuries were reported.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

La Habra Heights Recognized For Worker Safety Record

ACHIEVEMENT RECOGNIZED -- La Habra Heights Mayor Kyle Miller presents an award from the California Joint Powers Insurance Authority to Fire Chief Doug Graft.  The award recognized La Habra Heights having the best workers compensation record of any of the Authority’s 37-member cities with public safety employees.  It was the second straight year La Habra Heights received the award.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Firefighter George Levario Presented With Certificate of Recognition

On August 11, 2016, Firefighter George Levario received a Certificate of Recognition from La Habra Heights Mayor Kyle Miller. Firefighter Levario recently left the City after faithfully serving the community of La Habra Heights as a volunteer Firefighter for 16 years.

The backbone of the La Habra Heights Fire Department rests in our volunteer Firefighters and Firefighter Paramedics who give up time with their family and friends to protect the community.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Get Ready. Get Safe. Save The Children Campaign

During disasters we have many different concerns. In La Habra Heights we are always aware that evacuation and sheltering plans will be critical during a disaster. What about horses? How do we protect our children? The organization "Save the Children" has some valuable tips on what to do before the disaster strikes, like how to create an "ICE Card" (In Case of Emergency) and how to plan before it does.

Please take the time to do the little things needed to prepare as provided at "Save the Children".

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) - What's The Big Deal?

The La Habra Heights Fire Department recently conducted several "Interoperability" Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) drills with a dozen other local fire departments. These drill are critical to the successful management of any fire that threatens La Habra Heights. Below is an excerpt from an article describing the challenges faced by all cities faced with fighting fires in a WUI environment.

The Sand fire burns out of control along near Acton, California, on Sunday.
"Southern California is on fire again. The Sand fire in the Santa Clarita Valley mountains north of Los Angeles has burned 38,873 acres, destroyed at least 18 homes and taken one life. Smoke from the fire created what the LA Times referred to as an “apocalyptic haze” around Los Angeles County and a scorch mark it left behind was clearly visible in images from NASA’s Landsat satellite. On Tuesday, the acting governor of California, Tom Torlakson, declared a state of emergency in the county, declaring that the fire is “likely to be beyond the control of the services, personnel, equipment and facilities of any single local government.”
What distinguishes the Sand fire isn’t its size..."
Read More
Ella Koeze is a visual journalist for FiveThirtyEight

Monday, August 1, 2016

Traffic Accident Closes Fullerton Road in La Habra Heights

On July 31, 2016 at 6:10  P.M.,  The La Habra Heights Fire Department responded to the 1700 block of Fullerton Rd. on a reported vehicle into a power pole. Upon arrival, Firefighters located a single vehicle which had struck and sheared a power pole causing live wires to fall to the ground.

Firefighters secured the area, blocked traffic, and determined that there were no injuries. Southern California Edison was contacted to secure the power lines and repair the power pole. The downed power lines caused power a outage to approximately 10 local residents. Firefighters remained on scene for several hours until Edison had secured the downed power lines.

Edison workers estimate that Fullerton Rd. will be closed between Chota Rd. and Dorothea Rd. until approximately 1 P.M. on August 1, 2016.

Residents can check the status of power outages in the affected area HERE.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Inspecting Homes For Possible Home Earthquake Hazards

Inspecting for Possible Home Hazards

An important step in earthquake preparedness is to inspect your home and its surroundings for possible hazards and then take action to lessen those hazards. Remember: anything can move, fall, or break during an earthquake or its aftershocks.
The following is a basic checklist to help you identify and correct possible home hazards.

Rooms in the Home

Look for the following hazards in each room:
  • Windows and other glass that might shatter
  • Unanchored bookcases, cabinets, refrigerators, water heaters, and other furniture that might topple
  • Heating units, fireplaces, chimneys, and stoves that could move or fall
  • Areas that could be blocked by falling debris

Securing Appliances

  • Secure your large appliances with flexible cable, braided wire, or metal strapping.
  • Install flexible gas and water connections on all gas appliances. This will significantly reduce your chances of having a major fire after an earthquake.
  • Brace and support air conditioners, particularly those on rooftops.
The typical water heater weighs about 450 pounds when full. In an earthquake, the floor on which it is standing tends to move out from under the heater, often causing it to topple. The movement can also break the gas, electric, and water-line connectors, posing fire or electric shock hazards, and can shatter the glass lining within the water heater.
Here are two suggestions on how to secure your water heater:
  • Wrap at least a 1 /2-inch wide metal strap around the top of the water heater and attach it to wall studs with 3-inch lag screws. Attach another strap about 2/3 of the way down from the top of the water heater. OR...
  • Wrap steel plumber's tape around the entire water heater at least twice. Then secure the tape to two different wall studs with 3-inch lag screws.

Securing Items in the Bathroom

Replace glass bottles from your medicine cabinet and around the bathtub with plastic containers.

Hanging and Overhead Items

  • Inspect and anchor overhead light fixtures, such as chandeliers.
  • Move heavy mirrors and pictures hanging above beds, chairs, and other places where you sit or sleep. Otherwise, anchor these items with wire through eyescrews bolted into wall studs. Or place screws on both sides, top, and bottom of the frame and screw these into the studs.
  • Determine whether the full swing of your hanging lamps or plants will strike a window. If so, move them.
  • Secure hanging objects by closing the opening of the hook.
  • Replace heavy ceramic or glass hanging planters with light-weight plastic or wicker baskets.

Shelves, Cabinets, and Furniture

  • Identify top-heavy, free-standing furniture, such as bookcases and china cabinets, that could topple in an earthquake.
  • Secure your furniture by using:
    • "L" brackets, corner brackets, or aluminum molding to attach tall or top-heavy furniture to the wall
    • eyebolts to secure items located a short distance from the wall
  • Attach a wooden or metal guardrail on open shelves to keep items from sliding or falling off. Fishing line can also be used as a less-visible means of securing an item.
  • Place heavy or large objects on lower shelves.
  • Use Velcro®-type fastenings to secure some items to their shelves.
  • Secure your cabinet doors by installing sliding bolts or childproof latches.

Hazardous Materials

Identify poisons, solvents, or toxic materials in breakable containers and move these containers to a safe, well-ventilated storage area. Keep them away from your water storage and out of reach of children and pets.

Inspecting and Securing Your Home's Structure

Examine the structural safety of your house. If your house is of conventional wood construction, it will probably be relatively resistant to earthquake damage, particularly if it is a single-story structure.
For information on structural safety standards and qualified contractors in your area, contact your city or county government office on community development or building code enforcement.
The following suggestions will take an investment of time and money but will add stability to your home. If you want to do the work yourself, many hardware or home-improvement stores will assist you with information and instructions.


Check to see if your house or garage is securely fastened to the foundation. (If your house was built before 1950, it probably does not have bolts securing the wood structure to the concrete foundation.) If your house is not secured to the foundation, take the following steps:
  • Using a hammer drill and carbide bit, drill a hole through the sill plate into the foundation. Holes should be approximately 6 feet apart.
  • Drop a 1/2- x 7-inch expansion bolt into each hole and finish by tightening the nut and washer.

Beams, Posts, Joists, and Plates

Strengthen the areas of connection between beams, posts, joists, and plates using the following hardware:
  • "T" and "L" straps
  • Mending plates
  • Joist hangers
  • Twin post caps
  • Nails and lag screws
Pay particular attention to exposed framing in garages, basements, porches, and patio covers.

Roof and Chimney

  • Check your chimney or roof for loose tiles and bricks that could fall in an earthquake. Repair loose tiles or bricks, as needed.
  • Protect yourself from falling chimney bricks that might penetrate the roof, by reinforcing the ceiling immediately surrounding the chimney with 3/4-inch plywood nailed to ceiling joists.

Learning to Shut Off Utilities

  • Know where and how to shut off utilities at the main switches or valves. Check with your local utility companies for instructions.
  • Teach all family members how and when to shut off utilities.


  • An automatic valve (Earthquake Command System) is commercially available that will turn the gas off for you in the event of an earthquake.
  • After an earthquake, DO NOT USE matches, lighters, or appliances, and do not operate light switches until you are sure there are no gas leaks. Sparks from electrical switches could ignite gas, causing an explosion.
  • If you smell the odor of gas, or if you notice a large consumption of gas being registered on the gas meter, shut off the gas immediately. First, find the main shut-off valve, located on a pipe next to the gas meter. Use an adjustable wrench to turn the valve to the off position.


After a major disaster, shut off the electricity. Sparks from electrical switches could pose a shock or fire hazard. Carefully turn off the electricity at the main electrical breaker in your home.


Water may be turned off at either of two locations:
  • At the main meter, which controls the water flow to the entire property; or
  • At the water main leading into the home. (Shutting off the water here retains the water supply in your water heater, which may be useful in an emergency.)
Attach a valve wrench to the water line. (This tool can be purchased at most hardware stores.) Also, label the water mains for quick identification.