Prevention on the outside
Be sure to carry out certain fire protection measures before a fire starts:
- Create “Defensible Space” – Remove flammable vegetation from around your home or structures and replace with fire-resistant plants. This safety zone for firefighters should be at least 100 feet. Also, clear away dead leaves and debris from your roof and gutters.
- Mark road signs and buildings clearly – Fire-fighting personnel must be able to immediately locate and safely travel to your home or business in order to protect it.
- Establish an emergency water supply – Keep a minimum of 2,500 gallons of water (roughly the size of an above-ground pool, 10 feet in diameter) available to firefighters.
- Make your home and buildings fire safe – Modify your structures to resist fire damage. Siding materials such as brick and stucco resist fire much better than wood. Also, build or re-roof with fire resistive or noncombustible materials (Class A offer the best protection).
Prevention on the inside
Fires are caused by a combination of fuel, air and heat. Therefore, removing one of the three elements is key in preventing devastating fires. Beware of fire ignition sources such as:
- Electrical – Many fires result from defects in, or misuse of, the electrical system. Wiring may fail due to faulty installation, overloading, physical damage, aging or deterioration. Inspect all exposed wiring regularly. Make sure heating units are working properly.
- Farm machinery – Equipment fires may be the result of defective fuel or ignition systems, smoking, overheated engines, sparks from exhaust or grinding equipment, or improper refueling. Turn off the engine and allow it to cool before refueling. Repair leaks in fuel lines, pumps and filters. Use and store fuels properly. Keep them in well-ventilated areas.