What You Should Know about Wildfire Safety

More than 45 million homes are now at risk for wildfires, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Wildfires can be started by everything from a lightning strike to careless campers, and the damages these blazes cause is devastating. Here, from an NFPA tip sheet, is what you can do to protect your home:

Clear leaves and other vegetative debris from roofs, gutters, porches and decks. This helps prevent embers from igniting your home

Remove dead vegetation and other items from under your deck or porch, and within 10 feet of the house.

Screen in areas below patios and decks with wire mesh to prevent debris and combustible materials from accumulating.

Remove flammable materials (wood piles, propane tanks) within 30 feet of your home’s foundation and outbuildings, including garages and sheds. If it can catch fire, don’t let it touch your house, deck or porch.

Wildfire can spread to treetops. Prune trees so that the lowest branches are 6 to 10 feet from the ground.

Keep your lawn hydrated and maintained. If it is brown, cut it down to reduce fire intensity. Dry grass and shrubs are fuel for wildfire. Don’t let debris and lawn cuttings linger. Dispose of them quickly to reduce fuel for fire.

Inspect shingles or roof tiles. Replace or repair the shingles that are loose or missing to prevent ember penetration.

Cover exterior attic vents with metal wire mesh no larger than 1/8 inch to prevent sparks from entering the home.

Enclose eaves and screen soffit vents using 1/8 mesh metal screening to prevent ember entry.

For more information, visit www.fireadapted.org and www.firewise.org  for more information.

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