Is Your Home Kindling for Wildfires?

Is Your Home Kindling for Wildfires?

A well-maintained roof helps protect a home from wildfires


Your best defense against wildfire is a good offense. Limit fire’s toehold with these 14 fire-repelling tips



How do most homes ignite during a wildfire? A floating ember or piece of burning wood touches down on a roof, gutter, in a vent, under a deck, or on a porch and ignites leaves and debris, says the National Fire Protection Association. Or else, a surface fire simply takes the fast lane to your home via dry vegetation.

With that in mind, fortify your home like the castle it is with these 14 wildfire-repelling steps. But keep in mind that no product or technique is a failsafe against a raging fire.

Keep the Basics Handy

1. If you don’t already have working smoke detectors or haven’t tested the batteries recently, make that your No. 1 job. Now.

2. Have an easily accessible bucket, shovel (to dig a trench to protect against encroaching ground fire), and connected garden hose to help you defend the area around your home, plus one or two working fire extinguishers.

Remove Debris

3. Keep gutters, porches, and the lawn free of debris, leaves, and fallen branches. If a fire threat is imminent, remove furniture and decorations from decks and porches, including welcome mats.

Landscape Against Flammability

4. Invest in rain barrels to capture rainwater you can use to help douse flames.

5. Use water from your rain barrel or installed sprinklers to keep plants well-irrigated and green. Green plant materials are less likely to catch fire from embers, says NFPA’s Michele Steinberg. Plant fire-resistant plants and shrubs, like irises, rhododendrons, hostas, and lilacs, which have high-moisture content. Your local Cooperative Extension Office can advise you on appropriate species for your area.

6. Remove tree branches lower than 6 feet — fires tend to start low and rise. For that reason, don’t plant shrubs directly under trees; they can combust and cause the fire to rise up the tree. By the way, spacing out all plants and shrubs is a good…

Continue reading this article for more helpful tips.


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