The gravest effects of global warming are increasing temperatures and dryness in summer, effects that also increase the number of severe wildfires all over the world, even in areas that were previously safe from the devastating fires starting in shrubby or wooded areas and spreading uncontrollably. Wherever your home is located, even if it is an area with moderate climate that gets the right amount of precipitation even in summer, it is very important to implement measures to prevent wildfires from reaching your home – here are some things that you can do.
Maintain Your Building and Your Landscape
Whether you have shrubs and flower beds in your yard or you also have large, old trees, regularly inspecting and maintaining your landscape and your building to make sure that there are no dead, dry plants around that can catch fire is very important. Here is how to do it right:
- Inspect your vegetation every couple of months and cut off any dead branches and leaves. Whenever you perform any pruning, include the removal of the pruned twigs, branches, stems and leaves from the property;
- Remove diseased trees – even your large old tree has been providing you shade and comfort for years, if it is now weak and ill, it needs to be removed. To make sure that the removal is performed safely, hire a tree trimming company to handle the task for you;
- Regularly clean the roofs and the gutters to remove any flammable debris as well as debris that can clog the pipes or that rest for too long on your roof surface.
If you live in a fire-prone area, you might want to consider using Class-A fire resistant materials on your building, such as metal roofing and siding panels and hire fire mitigation services as a precautionary step.
Create Defensible Space Zones
The process involves the configuration of your landscape based on considerations of fire prevention, creating a strategically designed landscape. Here is how to define the zones:
- Zone 0 – this area is at a distance of 0-5 feet from your building and it is the area in which even small flames can be a huge risk. Make sure that you keep no combustible materials in the area, such as garbage bins, flammable door mats and lumber. Remove any tree limbs that overhang the area and regularly remove any fallen leaves, twigs and pine needs that could catch fire;
- Zone 1 – located at 5-30 feet from the building, this area is usually the space where trees and other vegetation start. Keep the area clean by regularly pruning the vegetation there and also make sure that you do not store any wood or other flammables in the zone. To make this zone as resistant to fires as possible, choose plant varieties that are resistant to your climate conditions because that is the best way to make sure that your plants stay green and healthy;
- Zone 2 – this stripe is located at 30-100 feet from your building. Maintenance of the area is essentially the same as in the other zones.