Wildfire Safety Tips
If you live where flammable vegetation is abundant, your house and property could be a target for a Wildland fire. Be prepared for these damaging fires that can sweep through the woods or neighborhoods. The following safety tips will create a fire safe environment for your property.
10 Steps to Wildfire Defense
- Define your defensible space. Create a 30-foot, non-combustible zone around your house. It is the most effective safeguard against wildfire.
- Reduce flammable vegetation, trees and brush around your home. Choose fire-resistant plants with loose branching habits, high moisture content and little seasonal accumulation of dead vegetation.
- Remove or prune trees. Remove or thin overcrowded or weakened trees. Prune low-hanging branches to keep ground fires from climbing into trees.
- Cut grass and weeds regularly. Fire loves dry grass and weeds. Mow or trim low vegetation and keep it well-watered, especially during dry seasons.
- Relocate wood piles and leftover building materials. Stack all burnable materials at least 30 feet away from your home and other buildings.
- Keep your roof and yard clean. Leaf and branch build-up on composition shingle roofs can burn off the “gravel” surface layer and spread fire into the home.
- Keep signs and addresses visible, and keep the home accessible. Highly visible signs and address numbers allow firefighters to find your home quickly during an emergency. Safe, easy access to your property includes driveways with well-trimmed peripheral vegetation.
- Rate your roof. In a wildfire, it’s the most vulnerable part of your house. Consider treatment or replacement of a wood shake roof. If you have a fireplace or wood stove, install an approved spark arrestor.
- Regularly recycle yard debris and branches. Properly dispose of all collected yard debris immediately.
- Know what to do when wildfire strikes. If the fire is directly affecting your home, evacuate immediately and then call 9-1-1 . If the fire is close by, monitor local radio and TV for fire reports and evacuation procedures. Keep an emergency checklist handy and make sure it includes closing all windows and doors.