Defensible Space – Protecting Your Home Against Forest Fires
This week in news, we all have heard about the forest fires occurring within Southern California. According to the Weather Channel, “winds blowing from land toward the ocean – will prevail across SoCal, thanks to a strong high pressure zone setting up over the Northern Rockies and the Great Basin.” High winds from inland allow the fire to spread at rapid pace over dry land. Forest fires occur at different times across the western states. Many people only know the basics when it comes to forest fire prevention. Defensible space is the first thing you need to learn in order to protect your home from forest fires.
The following are some important tips when it comes to protecting your home against forest and brush fires. Defensible space is the easiest and safest practice against fires. After reading, take a look at the following guidelines from Firewise to learn more about defensible space and forest fire prevention.
- First thing to remember is to keep your roof fireproof. This means flame retardant materials, and stay away from wood shingles or combustible roofing. Ash can carry high amounts of heat as well. Ash landing on your roof can actually start a fire even if the fire isn’t near your home yet.
Keep your roof clean and clear of pine needles and leaves. Dried vegetation can easily catch on fire from flames or ash.
- Dead vegetation around your home should be removed as well. Dead trees or bushes should be removed quickly so as to not fuel the fire.
- If you carry firewood around your home, make sure to move it to a safe distance from your home, around 30 feet away from the house.
- Minimize trees around your home. Beyond the first 15 feet, trees should be spread out enough to not clump. There should be a crowing area around your home. Clumping trees can lead to a faster spread of fire.
- Make sure to cut grass frequently. This will reduce the dead grass and keep your grass healthy.
- This also means you need to water your grass efficiently. Shorter grass means it can dry out quickly too. To prevent this make sure to water based on city ordinance.
- Sprinklers are a great option during times of fires. Wetting the area around your home is a great defense.
- Don’t forget to trim branches, especially if they are hanging near the roof. These are easy connections from the fire to the house.
- Eliminate all flammable fuels from around the house. It is not uncommon for lawnmowers to be left in a shed or yard; this gasoline can obviously cause greater problems. To learn about equipment safety around your home, check out Appliance Safety For Your House.
- Try to remove any flammable items that may be sitting on the deck or backyard as well. If it is sitting around the home, consider it easily a part of the home.
This list of defensible space ideas is just a few that are easy to be done. They cost next to nothing and can prevent the spreading of forest fires to your home. Make sure to keep updated on all city evacuation laws and other forest fire learning experiences. Since each state has different weather patterns, demographics and laws, make sure to keep abreast on the latest laws in your city.
If you have fire or smoke damage don’t hesitate to contact a restoration and cleaning company near you!