IBHS: Simple Changes Can Boost Wildfire Defense

May 9, 2005

Every dry spring day increases the risk of wildfire, but the Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) said some simple changes can boost a home’s defense.

The key is removing everything that would serve flames as a fuel source. This will help create survivable space: a zone around the home that will help slow a fire, should one start, and potentially direct it elsewhere.

Fire will burn only if flammable things like dry landscaping, woodpiles
and decks are present. To create survivable space, IBHS said individuals should take the following steps within at least 30 feet of their house, 50-100 feet if they live in a heavily wooded area:

* Prune trees and shrubs.
* Branches on taller trees should be a minimum of 6 feet from the ground.
* Remove dead leaves and branches, especially around the roof and chimney.
* Mow the lawn regularly and dispose promptly of cuttings and debris.
* Clear the roof, gutters and eaves of debris.
* Maintain one’s irrigation system.
* Move firewood and storage tanks 50 feet away from the home.
* Store flammable liquids properly.

If one is about to begin a landscaping project, they can increase their home and yard’s protection by introducing more native vegetation and spacing trees at least 10 feet apart.

And if a facelift is being planned for one’s home’s exterior, use only non-combustible materials on the roof, walls, eaves, soffits and fascia.

The pamphlet “Protect Your Home Against Wildfire Damage” and other home and business protection information can be found on the IBHS Web site, http://www.disastersafety.org .

Was this article valuable?

Here are more articles you may enjoy.