Every year, thousands of acres are destroyed by wildfires. Although many are naturally occurring, many more are set deliberately or as a result of carelessness. Still others are set by The Florida Division of Forestry sets controlled burns to regulate growth and prevent large-scale fires from breaking out. Wildfires are a real danger whether you live in urban, suburban, or rural areas.
Protecting Property from Wildfires
Learning about the dangers of wildfires can help save your home and those you love. According to the experts, wildfires across the country are burning hotter and faster than ever before. After a severe fire season in which fourteen hundred homes burned, the National Fire Protection Association, (NFPA), created the FireWise program. The program offers simple ways community members can work together to prevent their properties from becoming fuel for a wildfire. Residents can reduce the risk of their home's ignition by simply modifying thier homes and immediate surroundings. For example, clearing a space around the home can reduce wildfire threat. Reduce surrounding vegetation and prune large trees. Even something as simple as cleaning gutters and eaves of leaves and debris can prevent an ember from igniting a home. When possible, choose heat and flame resistant construction materials for homes, decks, porches, and fences. The most protective roofing materials will be rated CLASS A, including asphalt shingles and metal, cement and concrete products. Here are some tips on preparing your home for wildfires.
Wildfire Home Protection Tips
- Keep branches and low-hanging limbs off your home.
- Keep access to your home open for emergency vehicles to enter.
- Create a defensible space of at least 30 feet around your home that is free of vegetation.
- Choose ignition-resistant building materials for home construction.
- Choose drought-resistant plants for landscaping.
What to do if your home is threatened by wildfire
- If there is time, close windows, vents, and doors. Remove lightweight curtains.
- Turn off the gas or propane tank.
- Wet down your roof and surroundings of your home in a 15 foot area.
- Bring any combustibles such as lawn furniture inside the house.
- If you must evacuate, do so when told by emergency crews, leave immediately and be sure to leave word where you are going.