Fire prevention, Part 3

RBC Sheriff Photo

Of course, nothing is completely fireproof, but there are steps you can take to decrease your home’s vulnerability. Here is a link to great article on wildfire mitigation.

Steps such as removing dead foliage near your house foundation, trimming tree branches that touch your roof, moving firewood away from the house, and using fire resistant materials on your roof can all help. Look at the trees near your house and think about how fire could be blown onto your property. Keep your grass mowed and store gas cans outside your house.

Our local fire department can visit your home and provide advice about how to mitigate fire hazards. A guideline for homeowners is to think in zones.

Zone 1 is 0-5 feet from your house. Keep your foundation safe and prevent fire from burning up the side by removing anything that might contribute to fire spreading up the side of your house.

Zone 2 is 5-30 feet out. Remember that fire can spread from treetop to roof. If you have grass growing under the foliage near you house mow to four inches and keep the ground clear of combustibles.

Zone 3 is 30-100 feet away. Consider items such as wooden gates or fences that could easily contribute to fire issues. So named “ladder fires” can burn up trees with low or dead branches. Trim these and remove dry materials.

If you have smokers, be sure their discards go far away from the house. If you have an outdoor grill, dispose of charcoal in a safe area. Carefully position outdoor firepits away from your house. Don’t leave your grill or firepit unattended and be sure the fire is completely out before you leave.

If you are re-roofing, install fire resistant materials. Be sure your gutters are cleaned of debris.

Keep your lawn, alley, and any other land mowed. The Town of Meeker includes a code for Trash and Weed Abatement. It requires mowing to a height of less than twelve inches by June 20. Failure to comply can result in a citation. Remember, you will also be helping your neighborhood by maintaining your property and preventing the spread of fire.

In the end property mitigation means smart and constant upkeep of your property. Be sure it is properly insured and update frequently.

Although firefighters will do their best to respond, it is up to each of us to maintain our properties, prepare, and address potential issues before they become fire dangers.

Many thanks to Mandi Etheridge, Administrator Town of Meeker for her assistance with this article.

By KAYE SULLIVAN – Special to the Herald Times

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