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Best ways to keep your home safe as wildfires approach

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Posted at 10:55 AM, Jul 22, 2014
and last updated 2014-07-22 15:53:47-04

Fire crews recommend creating a 30 to 100-foot safety zone around your home.

Within this area, you can take steps to reduce potential exposure to flames and radiant heat.

Homes built in pine forests should have a minimum safety zone of 100 feet.

If your home sits on a steep slope, standard protective measures may not suffice.

Contact your local fire department or forestry office for additional information.

Complete wildfire protection information can be found here

  • Rake leaves, dead limbs and twigs. Clear all flammable vegetation.
  • Remove leaves and rubbish from under structures.
  • Thin a 15-foot space between tree crowns, and remove limbs within 15 feet of the ground.
  • Remove dead branches that extend over the roof.
  • Prune tree branches and shrubs within 15 feet of a stovepipe or chimney outlet.
  • Ask the power company to clear branches from powerlines.
  • Remove vines from the walls of the home.
  • Mow grass regularly.
  • Clear a 10-foot area around propane tanks and the barbecue. Place a screen over the grill – use nonflammable material with mesh no coarser than one-quarter inch.
  • Regularly dispose of newspapers and rubbish at an approved site. Follow local burning regulations.
  • Place stove, fireplace and grill ashes in a metal bucket, soak in water for 2 days; then bury the cold ashes in mineral soil.
  • Store gasoline, oily rags and other flammable materials in approved safety cans. Place cans in a safe location away from the base of buildings.
  • Stack firewood at least 100 feet away and uphill from your home. Clear combustible material within 20 feet. Use only wood-burning devices evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL).
  • Review your homeowner’s insurance policy and also prepare/update a list of your home’s contents.

What to do before wildfires to be prepared in case of evacuations

What to do during wildfire evacuations

Last resort: How to survive a wildfire