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How to Make Your Home Perimeter Fire Resistant

 

You can make your home's perimter fire resistant with a few quick tips and tricks

There are many ways to change the landscape with vegetation to resist to fire hazards. You can read about the basics here. In addition to protecting your home with plantings and placement, there are other steps to take. If you live in an area that may be approaching the dry days of summer or are in the midst of a drought, you may already have implemented some fire-resistant measures.

First, clean up around the home. Remove deadwood promptly and cut back vegetation at the end of the growing season. It's worth the expense to remove dead and dying trees - these are instant fireballs. Firewood should be stacked away from any structure - this is a termite deterrent as well. Firewood racks, designed to raise wood off the ground, are even better.

Train family members in fire safety. Not just drills, but reinforce how to prevent fires, in particular not to use matches for any reason and not to play around barbecue grills or other outdoor cooking equipment. Give instructions on how to use fire extinguishers. In fact, make sure one is installed in the garage or for easy access from the deck or yard.

Avoid parking any vehicle on grass or near vegetation. Starting a car or truck could be enough to spark a fire from the exhaust system.

Check the chimney before lighting the first fire of the season. Make sure the cap is secure and screens are in good shape.

Don't wait for fall and spring cleanup to clean gutters. Check them once a month in the dry season for debris and nesting materials.

If you are budgeting for any outdoor remodeling, think about replacing wood structures with concrete, pavers, and gravel. Composites are also fire resistant. Sloped areas can become fire-retarders with the addition of decorative retaining walls. If fencing is getting old, the wood is getting dry as well. There are newer plastic options; however, these will be more expensive.

When planning to replace wood siding, consider cement fiberboard. It's not only fireproof, but will never warp, buckle, or rot.

 

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