Tips for Landscaping Your Home for Fire Safety

This past summer has shown us how important it is to make our homes as safe as possible when it comes to fires.  We have seen how fast a wildfire can spread from one home to another by jumping from tree to tree and then to shrubs and trees located closer to the home.  This is why it is our responsibility, especially if our homes are located in an area that may be prone to fires, to make our homes as safe as possible.  There are many different aspects that we need to consider when fireproofing our homes.  Below we are going to offer you some helpful tips that can reduce the risk of a wildfire spreading to your home.

The first thing that you should take into consideration is the landscaping surrounding your home.  Properly landscaping your home can be an important step in protecting your home from a wildfire.  When considering the landscaping around your home, it is important that you take into consideration all of the surrounding area near your home, this includes trees, shrubs and grass. 

One of the first things you can do to keep your home safe during wildfire season is to create a defensible space surrounding your home.  This space will create a buffer zone around your home to reduce the amount of fuel that there is available to fuel a fire.  To create this zone you should begin by keeping 3 to 5 around your home clear of all flammable materials and vegetation.  This includes plants, shrubs, trees and grasses.  You should also refrain from using any mulch or bark near your home, instead use rock.  It is also important that you keep this area free of any leaves and dried pine needles.  If you have any branches that overhang the roof they should be trimmed back; you should also remove all debris that may have accumulated under any decks and porches.

In the area farther away from your home you may want to consider adding sidewalks, driveways, patios and gravel paths.  Not only are these pleasant to look at and incorporate into your landscaping, but they also provide a barrier between your home and fire.  In the surrounding 100 feet of your home you should also thin out any trees and shrubs that may be present.  Remove any low hanging branches so that they are at least six feet off the ground and mow your lawn regularly and dispose of any clipping or debris in the proper manner.  If you store your firewood near your home experts suggest moving the pile at least 30 feet from your home.  While these tips are not guaranteed to prevent a wildfire from reaching your home, when followed correctly they can greatly reduce the risk to your home.

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