Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Keep Your Home Safe from a Wildfire

If you live in an area that is prone to wildfires, or even one that is nearby, you are the first line of defense to keep your house safe. Here are some tips to landscape your house for fire prevention.

Watch where you park your car. Don't park over dry grass or brush. The underside of your vehicle can get very hot, with a potential to touch off a fire.

Mowing, edging, and other gasoline power tools may spark a fire. Be sure they all have spark arresters. Also, just like the cars, be very careful when using them on dry grass or brush. If you are using metal blades, be careful of striking rocks and creating sparks.

Don't plant trees and other plants that have a lot of sap. Choose the ones that have a high moisture content as ground covers.

Here are some good fire-resistant ground covers: strawberry, ice plant, rock rose.

Here are some good fire-resistant shrubs: honeysuckle, sage, lavender.

Fire-resistant trees: maple, poplar. Choose a hardwood.

Do not plant anything near or touching a wooden deck.

If you can, use other material other than wood for making structures like porches, decks, and even planters. Using brick and stone is a wise choice when possible.

You can create fire-breaks around your home using pebbles, rocks, gravel, or even stepping stones.

Your roof may be made of fire-resistant materials. But what about the stuff that accumulates on it and the gutters? Leaves and branches are flammable. Clear these areas often.