Making sure your home is as safe as possible is important. Should any type of fire, including a wildfire, come near your property, you want as small of a chance as possible that anything will ignite. When you take the time to keep the area around your home safer, you can make your own property, plus the rest of your neighborhood, safer from a spreading fire.
First, you want to clear all debris from your gutters, decks, roofs, and porches. This should include leaves and anything else that can decompose, preventing embers from igniting on your home. Ideally, you want to cover your gutters, attic vents, eaves, and soffit vents with a wire mesh that has no larger than 1/8” holes.
Next, you need to make sure to clear out anything from under your decks and porches, and in a ten-foot radius of your home. This should include leaves and other vegetation which could easily ignite. Screen in the areas under your patios and decks with a fine wire mesh so you can prevent anything combustible from accumulating.
When you are done with the area below decks and porches, take the same attention and look at your roof. You want to make sure there aren’t any exposed roof areas, such as lifted shingles, where an ember could touch your roof and ignite your home.
Then, take anything that is flammable, such as a pile of wood or a propane tank, and make sure it is at least 30 feet away from the foundation of your home and any outbuildings that you have, such as sheds or garages. The general rule is, if it could catch fire, keep it away from your home, porch, or deck.
Finally, make sure to keep your yard tended. This means pruning your trees up so that the lowest branches are at least 6-10 feet from the ground. Make sure your lawn is always hydrated and trimmed. If watering doesn’t help and it remains brown, make sure to trim it as low as possible. Pick up all trimmings, as those could easily dry and ignite with just an ember, reigniting the fire.
Make sure to take care of your home, especially if you live in an area where wildfires are possible. The more you do to protect your home, the better your chances become of not becoming a statistic.
Your Source for SAFETY Information www.nfpa.org/education ©NFPA 2016 Wildland