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Community Education

Heat Wave Safety

Heat Wave SafetyBefore a Heat Wave

  • Listen to local weather forecasts and stay aware of upcoming temperature changes.
  • Discuss heat safety precautions with members of your household. Have a plan for wherever you spend time— home, work, and school—and prepare for power outages.
  • Check the contents of your emergency disaster kit in case a power outage occurs.
  • Know those in your neighborhood who are elderly, young, sick, or overweight. They are more likely to become victims of excessive heat and may need help.
  • If you do not have air conditioning, choose places you could go to for relief from the heat during the warmest part of the day (schools, libraries, theaters, malls).
  • Ensure that your animals' needs for water and shade are met.

What To Do During a Heat Wave

  • Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio for critical updates from the National Weather Service (NWS).
  • Never leave children or pets alone in enclosed vehicles.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.
  • Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays.
  • Slow down, stay indoors, and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day.
  • Postpone outdoor games and activities.
  • Take frequent breaks if you must work outdoors.
  • Check on family, friends, and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat.
  • Check on your animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat.
  • If you engage in swimming in a body of water, make sure you are water safe.

Water Safety

Nearly 800 children drown every year in the U.S., with two-thirds of drownings happening between May and August, according to Safe Kids Worldwide. Many drowning deaths occur in lakes, rivers, oceans, ponds, and other open water.


  • Drowning is the leading cause of preventable death for children ages 1-4.
  • In California, drowning is the leading cause of death for children under 14.
  • Children less than a year old are more likely to drown at home in a bathroom or bucket.
  • Children 1-4 years old are more likely to drown in a pool.  
  • Children 5 years of age and older are more likely to drown in open water such as the ocean, lake, pond, or rivers. 



  • Ensure every member of your family learns to swim - at least achieve skills of water competency: able to enter the water, get a breath, stay afloat, change position, swim a distance then get out of the water safely.
  • Employ layers of protection including barriers to prevent access to water, life jackets, and close supervision of children to prevent drowning.
  • Know what to do in a water emergency – including how to help someone in trouble in the water safely, call for emergency help, and CPR.



 Water safety at home

    May is National Water Safety month! In this video, Firefighter Robby teams with Station 53 and EMS Medical Director Dr. Dan Shepherd to talk about how you can make sure everyone stays safe while in the water! More Firefighter Robby videos are available here.

    Ask Robby Q&A

    Robby Web Banner

    Ever wonder about VCFD's fire, emergency, medical or rescue services? Have a burning question about fire safety and daily operations? In the questions below, Firefighter Robby answers our community's questions. "Robby to the Rescue!" is designed to engage and educate the community on a variety of fire safety topics with the help of its VCFD fire family members

    News Release: Robby to Rescue

    Oprima aquí para la versión en español.

    Do you have a question for VCFD? Hit the ‘Ask Robby’ button to submit your question for a future "Robby to the Rescue" episode! 

    Follow VCFD on social media and join the conversation by using the hashtag #AskRobby to learn about Robby's adventures.

     Ask Robby Button


    Brush clearing:
    When is brush required to be cleared by, within 100 feet of structures?

    -Cindy, Newbury Park

    Recently, VCFD sent homeowners and property managers Fire Hazard Reduction Program (FHRP) notices. This notice reminds Ventura County residents to clear 100 feet of brush away from their properties by June 1, 2020, advising people to remove dry brush near open land where wildfires may occur.  

    You can view the informational press release here:

    Ventura County Fire requires homeowners and property managers to clear brush away from nearby buildings and maintain 100 feet of defensible space. Dead trees, poorly maintained properties and dry brush greatly increases the risk of fast-spreading, dangerous wildfires. To find out if a parcel has been approved, visit

    For more information about how to better prepare your home and property before a wildfire occurs, download a Ready, Set, Go! Brochure, in English or Spanish.  

    For additional information on the Fire Hazard Reduction Program, call (805) 389-9759 or send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..    


    Strong odor from oven:
    My question is, when I turn on my oven, there is a strong odor. It doesn’t go away right away. Does the fire dept come to check that out or does the gas co? And what could be the problem?

    -Heather, Oxnard

    If you suspect a gas leak, evacuate the area and call either 911 or the gas company at 1-800-427-2200.

    In order to keep your natural gas appliances operating safely and efficiently, it's important to perform regular maintenance and repairs. While maintaining your natural gas appliances is ultimately your responsibility. You can contact SoCalGas or a qualified appliance repair person to inspect your natural gas appliances.


    Home fire locations?
    Where is a fire most likely to break out in your home?

    -Andy, Camarillo

    According to the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA), fires start for a variety of reasons. The top causes of fires are cooking, heating, electrical, smoking and candles. Follow this link for additional information.


    Carbon Monoxide alarms
    Carbon monoxide monitor continues to goes off- Who do we contact?

    -Ralph, Ventura

    Often called the invisible killer, carbon monoxide is an invisible, odorless, colorless gas created when fuels (such as gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, propane, oil, and methane) burn incompletely. In the home, heating and cooking equipment that burn fuel can be sources of carbon monoxide.

    If the CO alarm sounds, immediately move to a fresh air location outdoors or by an open window or door. Make sure everyone inside the home is accounted for. Call for help (911) from a fresh air location and stay there until emergency personnel declare that it is safe to re-enter the home.

    If your CO alarm is intermittently  beeping you can read on the back of the unit what the beeps mean. Many times it is an indication that you simply need to replace your CO alarm, as they are only good for so many years. For example:

    1 beep every minute: This means that the alarm has low batteries and you should replace them.

    5 beeps every minute: This means your alarm has reached the end of its life and needs to be replaced with a new carbon monoxide alarm.



    Smoke Alarms in the home
    Why do you put a smoke alarm in every bedroom? I want to know because when the smoke alarm went off at our house in my mom and dad’s bedroom (because a bug was in it), you could hear it through the whole house.

    -Scout, Ojai

    That is a great question.  The reason there are smoke alarms in every room is so everyone gets alerted early about smoke anywhere inside the home.  Check our web page about smoke alarms and watch me and Captain Stan talk more about home fire safety


    Stored gas cans during a fire
    I live at top of hill in the Hobson heights area hit hard by the Thomas Fire. My question is, should another fire come into the area where we are asked to evacuate, where should I put any stored gas before I leave. Should I leave in garage or shed or move these cans to the street away from the home?

    -Crystal, Ventura

    Never store gasoline in your house. Gasoline is dangerous. Keep your fuel stored in a shed, free-standing garage, or other secure well-ventilated outbuilding away from the house.  Never smoke or have any open flame in your fuel storage structure and keep a fire extinguisher for flammable liquids on hand.

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