Wildfires are a threat that can not be eliminated, but can be lived with if the proper precautions are taken. Now that we have entered wildfire season, it is good to know some safety tips that may help protect your home from fire.
By following these suggested steps, you can create a "defensible space" around your house.
• Remove the lower branches of trees at least 10 feet from the ground and cut back limbs that hang over your roof.
• Remove leaves, dry grass, and brush from underneath decks and crawlspaces.
• Keep landscaping well pruned and watered.
• Store firewood and other combustibles away from your home.
• Before burning, contact the local fire department - If the fire department knows you are burning a brush pile, it can be ready to respond if needed. This also cuts down on false alarms reported by concerned neighbors.
• Replace wood shake roofing with non-combustible material.
• Remove leaves and other vegetation from your gutters and roof.
• Ensure driveways are wide enough for fire vehicles (20 feet wide, 15 feet high).
• Create a "fuel-break" - - - driveways, gravel walkways, or lawns
• Plant low growing, fire resistant plants (ground cover, perennials and annuals) near your home.
• Remove dead or overhanging branches.
• Dispose of cuttings and yard debris promptly, according to local regulations.
• Check your generator and/or hose to be sure it is in good repair.
• Make trellises of non-flammable metal.
• If you smoke, use your ashtray.
• Have at least two ground-level doors as safety exit.
• Mark your driveway and access roads clearly.
• Prevent sparks from entering your house by covering vents with wire mesh no larger than 1/8".
From our Archives 10/7/2009