Wildfire Defensible Space

Courtesy ESD2 / Pflugerville Fire

When you do your spring cleaning, don’t forget to clean up your yard! One of the most important steps to reducing wildfire risks is to prepare and maintain your own home. The transition from winter to spring is the perfect time to get on top of wildfire danger. Here are 10 Easy Steps to improving your “defensible space.”

  1. Prune dead and low-hanging tree limbs 6 to 10 feet from the ground around house.
  2. Keep roof and gutters free from leaves and needles.
  3. Store all gas, oil and other chemicals away from the house. This includes propane tanks on BBQ pits.
  4. Relocate your woodpile and any leftover building materials at least 30’ from house.  NOTE:  It is best to not locate the woodpile directly uphill or downhill of any structures.
  5. If you or your guests smoke, use deep, wide ashtrays on the flat ground or a sturdy table. Before you throw out butts and ashes, make sure they are out. Dousing in water or sand is the best way! Never throw them in mulch or landscaping.
  6. Enclose spaces under porches, decks, foundations and overhangs, and roof/attic vent openings with 1/8” metal screening.
  7. Ensure that your property’s signs, address and access are well marked, and they are visible both night and day. Reflective numbering/lettering that is 3” or larger is recommended.
  8. Connect garden hoses on all sides of your house.
  9. Place tools (such as ladders, shovels, rakes and hoes) for easy access to fire fighters.
  10. Check driveway for adequate clearance for emergency vehicles (both height and width)

And lastly, in anticipation of a possible wildfire in your area, everyone in your household should become familiar with Ready, Set, Go!, a comprehensive safety plan on emergency preparedness.  Download here: Ready, Set, Go!

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