May 4, 2017 - With fire season approaching, homeowners and communities can make their homes safer from wildfire by reducing flammable materials and creating more defensible space around their property.
These ten safety tips can help firefighters and protect homes and neighborhoods from wildfires:
- Clear leaves and other debris from roofs, gutters, porches and decks. This helps prevent embers from igniting your home.
- Remove dead vegetation and other items from under your deck or porch, and within 10 feet of the house.
- Screen in areas below patios and decks with wire mesh to prevent debris and combustible materials from accumulating.
- Remove flammable materials (wood piles, propane tanks) within 30 feet of your home’s foundation and outbuildings, including garages and sheds. If it can catch fire, don’t let it touch your house, deck or porch.
- Wildfire can spread to tree tops. Prune trees so the lowest branches are 6 to 10 feet from the ground.
- Keep your lawn hydrated and maintained. If it is brown, cut it down to reduce fire intensity. Dry grass and shrubs are fuel for wildfire.
- Don’t let debris and lawn cuttings linger. Dispose of these items quickly to reduce fuel for fire.
- Inspect shingles or roof tiles. Replace or repair the shingles that are loose or missing to prevent ember penetration.
- Cover exterior attic vents with metal wire mesh no larger than 1/8 inch to prevent sparks from entering the home.
- Enclose eaves and screen soffit vents using 1/8 mesh metal screening to prevent ember entry.
Every year, wildfires burn across the U.S., and more and more people are living in areas where wildfires pose a risk. Nearly 45 million homes abut or intermingle with wildlands and more than 72,000 U.S. communities are now at risk. By working together, residents can make their own property - and their neighborhood - much safer from wildfire.
The Firewise Communities Program encourages local solutions for safety by involving homeowners to prepare their homes from the risk of wildfire. The program provides resources to help homeowners learn how to adapt to living with wildfire and encourages neighbors to work together to take action now to prevent losses.
Additional information and materials are available at www.firewise.org.