firefighters spray water to wildfire

3 Tips to Fireproof Your Yard

With all the wildfires we’ve been seeing lately, you might be feeling a bit nervous. Other than reviewing and updating your homeowners insurance policy (which you definitely should do), there are other ways to protect yourself in the event fires come close to your home. Nothing is guaranteed, of course, but these methods can add a layer of “fireproofing” to your yard and therefore your home.

Just remember these three words: Remove, reduce, and replace.

Remove. The first step is to remove anything unnecessary that could serve as kindling for approaching fires. Clean out dead weeds and leaves, especially those that are piled up close to the house. If you keep a firewood pile near your home, move it farther away. If you spot dead branches in trees or shrubs, it’s time for a pruning to get rid of those.

Reduce. Obviously, you can’t remove absolutely everything from your landscaping. But you can reduce flammable native vegetation, if it’s overly dense. You should also break up dense shrubbery or tree cover with a good trimming.

Replace. You might also wish to get rid of highly flammable vegetation altogether; at least the ones growing within 30 feet or so of the home. You can replace these with a less flammable species. Some species will expel water from their leaves to help extinguish fires where others will go up like a roman candle!

If your siding or roofing is a more flammable variety, you might consider remodeling with a fire-rated, non-combustible material like fiber cement siding or class A asphalt roof shingles.

Finally, plastic attic vents should be replaced with metal ones. Choose one with openings less than one-quarter inch, to reduce the possibility of embers entering the attic.

If you need help evaluating your landscaping options, give us a call. We can help you select less flammable options and create a defensible zone around your home.