As the wildfire threat rises in a number of states, the Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) is encouraging homeowners to take steps to reduce their risk and boost their homes' defenses.
According to IBHS, the key is removing everything fire would view as a fuel source. This will help create a zone around the home to help slow flames, should a fire start, and potentially direct it elsewhere. Take these steps within 30 feet of most houses, 50-100 feet if it's a heavily wooded area:
- Eliminate fuel sources like dry landscaping, woodpiles and decks.
- Prune trees and shrubs.
- Trim taller trees so lowest branch is no less than six feet from the
- Remove dead leaves and branches from the yard.
- Clear branches from around the roof and chimney.
- Mow lawn regularly and dispose promptly of cuttings and debris.
- Clear roof, gutters and eaves of debris.
- Maintain your irrigation system.
- Move firewood and storage tanks 50 feet away from the home.
- Store flammable liquids properly.
Homeowners about to begin a landscaping project can increase their protection by introducing more native vegetation and spacing trees at least 10 feet apart.
And if a facelift is being planned for a home's exterior, use only non-combustible materials on the roof, walls, eaves, soffits and fascia