With temperatures on the rise once more, one thing becomes abundantly clear to those living in (dry, wooded, open-ridge gusty wind areas) fire-prone areas, especially in California and the other Western States —> Wildfire season isn’t limited to just summer and fall any more. We’ve all seen in the news (even more-so over the last several years) the damage and devastation caused by wildfires – many caused by lightning strikes – but even more caused by human carelessness – including but not limited to campfires, fireworks, automotive, lawnmowers, dry timber and brush around homes and wooden structures, improper storage of flammable substances, etc. Homeowners need to be ever vigilant and need to take simple steps to protect their homes and neighborhoods against wildfires.
Basic Steps YOU Can Take AHEAD of Time
- Check the area around your home for any fire hazards. Place woodpiles and propane tanks at least 30 feet away from the home. Cover chimneys or stovepipe outlets with a non-flammable screen of 1/2 inch or smaller mesh.
- Clear the space around your home. Clear brush areas from 100 to 200 feet (500 feet on sheer slopes is recommended as flames will shoot up faster). This can reduce the risk of fire by 50 percent. It will also provide room for firefighters to battle the blaze. Also be sure to remove dead leaves and brush from around your home and on the roof and gutters on a regular basis.
- Landscape the area around your home with fire-resistant plants. For example, ice plants or citrus trees withstand high temperatures and do not support open flames when ignited. Consult a nursery or your local fire department about all types of fire-retardant plans. Also place native shrubs and trees at least 10 feet apart, and prune branches on trees taller than 18 feet within six feet of the ground.
- Use non-combustible building materials. A non-combustible or fire-resistant shingle roof can prevent against flaming wood shingles or other debris carried by the wind. Also seal the eaves under your roof to prevent flying embers from lodging on your home. Decking should be concrete, tile or protected with fire-resistant coating. Install fire-resistant shutters or shades instead of drapes that can easily catch on fire.
- Have an adequate water supply handy for fire fighting. You can do a number of things such as installing a water tank and water pump, buying a pool pump or storing extra trash cans filled with water. You may also consider buying a fire hose as regular garden hoses may not be enough to battle high blazes or able to withstand extreme temperatures.
- Make sure there are accessible roads to your home. Your driveway should be at least 15 feet wide and have enough turnaround space for emergency vehicles.
Filed under: Emergency Preparations, Health & Safety, Home Security, Tips & Tricks Tagged: | being fire safe, fire protection, fire safety, in case of fire, wildfire danger, wildfire safety, wildfires