Returning Home

After a disaster, do not attempt to return to your home or cross any barriers or caution tape without permission from law enforcement officials. When returning home, be cautious in your neighborhood and watch out for:

  • charred power poles and trees that may be unstable and fall.
  • live power lines lying on the ground.
  • small fires that may flare up without warning.
  • ash pits, which are holes filled with hot ash created by burned trees.

Take the following precautions when attempting to enter your house:

  • Check for any structural damage before entering your home. If you are uncertain, have your home professionally inspected before returning.
  • Check for burning embers on roofs, gutters, porches, attic, crawlspace, and throughout your property for several days after a wildfire.
  • Do not smoke or attempt to light anything as there could be flammables or leaking gases. Use a flashlight instead.
  • Check to see if your gas utility is working properly. If you smell gas, shut off the gas supply at the main valve, leave your home immediately, and call your gas company.
  • Check to see if your electricity is working properly. If the electricity is not working, check to see if the main breaker is on. If there is still no power, call your power company.
  • Open windows and doors to allow airflow, which will help dry out of any water damage areas.

San Diego Gas & Electric can be reached at 1-800-411-7343 or

After you have checked your home, contact the County government to check and see if you will need clearance from a damage assessment team before beginning to clean up. For more information on damage assessment contact the County of San Diego at 2-1-1.