logo logo

Homeowners Best Defense Against Fire

cw-5This summer has been the worst season for wildfires in years.  Add the tragic loss of life suffered by smoke jumpers and hot shots in the Arizona wildfire in June and this is not a year that we are going to want to remember from a fire standpoint.  However, the homeowners best defense against fire can be taken long before there’s an imminent threat of damage to allow you a little better sleep at night.

Create Defensible Space:  Clean up the area within 50 feet of your home and do it with military precision.  That means removing all dead plants, dried grass, fallen pine needles, flammable plants and wood piles.  Next trim trees to keep branches at least 10 feet away from other trees.  Fire that can jump from tree to tree is a fire that goes from small to breaking news on CNN very quickly.  Daniel Berlant is a spokesperson for the California Dept. of Forestry and Fire Protection.  He has this to say about what you can do to defend your property.

“Remove all dead plants, dried grass, fallen pine needles, flammable plants and wood piles and trim trees to keep branches at least 10 feet away from other trees.  In the distance from 70 to 120 feet remove fallen leaves, branches, needles and cones, mow grass to 4 inches or less, and space trees and shrubs a safe distance apart.”

Slash Your Home Insurance Premiums. Search for Lower Rates Make Your Home “Tougher:” The roof is the most vulnerable part of your home if a fire in your neighborhood gets out of control.  Get rid of those wood shingles and replace them with a composition roof or metal.  Tile is also an excellent choice for a sturdy roof.  You will also want to cover vent openings, chimney
outlets and stovepipes with metal mesh, and screen or enclose gutters to prevent plant debris from accumulating.  Pine needles that appear to waft harmlessly on to your roof and into your gutters will dry and become flammable accelerants for a house on fire.

Formulate a Disaster Plan:  If worse comes to worst make sure that everyone in your family knows their responsibility and where to meet outside in case of fire.  Group homes and institutions must, by law, conduct regular fire drills.  It would be a good idea if you had a couple of those for your household as well. After all, the homeowners best defense against fire needs to be taken in advance in case a fire ever rages through your neighborhood.

Inventory:  Make a detailed list of everything that your family owns and keep the list off site, either in a safety deposit box or an online backup site. Sure this is a pain, but it will give you greater peace of mind as well as make the insurance process that much easier in case of a loss.  There are few scarier sights and sounds than the red and white lights and the sirens of the fire trucks coming to your rescue.

 

bottom