Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Disater Mitigation - Wild Fires

As the population grows, more & more people are building their homes in what was once virgin forest area.  Homeowners who build in wooded areas must take certain precautions to protect their homes as much as possible.
Build using fire retardant materials, or have flammable materials sprayed with fire retardant chemicals.  Keep your roof and gutters clear of pine needles, leaves, and other debris.  Clear any trees and other flammable vegetation at least 30' from your house.  Limb trees 10' - 15' from the ground.  Keep fuels stored well away from the house in non flammable structures such as a metal shed or box.  Stack firewood at least 30' from the home and clear a 10' area around propane tanks and other fuel storage.  Keep debris such as leaves, sticks and pine needles cleaned from the ground around the house and mow grass regularly.  Have dead trees & shrubs removed promptly.

Finally, keep a hose connected to a faucet at all times and keep fire fighting tools such as as axe, ladder, shovels etc. on hand.  Install smoke detectors in the house and change (NOT CHECK) the batteries twice a year, when you change the time on the clocks.  If you have a chimney for a furnace, fireplace or wood stove, have it cleaned before every heating season and keep fire extinguishers close by.  Make sure that wood ashes are cooled for several days in a metal bucket outdoors before disposing.  Have spark arresting screens installed in chimneys.  Avoid open outdoor fires, especially during dry spells.  If you enjoy a campfire or need to burn debris outdoors, do so in a well constructed fireplace and keep fire smothering materials such as sand or water on hand.  Make sure fires are dead out before leaving the area.

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