Six HOW-TO TIPS: Create a Defensible Space for Your Home
Your Firewise home has a better chance of surviving a wildland fire.
Download one page PDF: Create Defensible Space Tip Sheet
Inspect the perimeter of all structures
- Remove or mow vegetation and combustible materials from perimeters and under decks. Screen windows and openings. Remove Liquid Propane (LP) tanks from outdoor grills.
Treat vegetation between 30 to 100 feet from your home (increase distances downslope)
- Thin needle-bearing trees to 15 feet between extending branches.
- Prune tree branches up 6-8 feet from the ground.
- Remove shrubs and mow grass under trees.
- Remove dead vegetation.
Locate fuels and label fuel tanks, clear vegetation within a 10-foot perimeter of fuel storage. Relocate mobile tanks such as gasoline and LP to a safe zone if possible.
- Wood piles should be at least 30 feet from any structure and have a clear 10-foot perimeter.
- Junk piles are fire hazards. Move discarded items outside of the home’s 30 foot perimeter.
Wet vulnerable surfaces & make your water supply accessible
- When you learn of an approaching fire, use your regular hose system to wet down the roof, decks and yard.
- Have an alternative water supply available that does not require electricity. Water barrels that can be accessed by fire crews can be an asset for fire protection.
Provide Fast Access to Your Home
- Maintain a 12-foot wide driveway with a turnaround.
- Clear vegetation back away from driveway edges.
- Maintain a 14 foot vertical clearance for the length of your driveway.
- Clearly Identify Your Home; post your address number on your home.
- Community road signs should be maintained to support emergency response; Post street and road names in your area.
Have a Safety Plan
- Have a Home fire safety and an escape plan to help ensure your family’s safe exit in the event of a house fire.
- Test fire alarms, Carbon Monoxide Alarms and Fire Extinguishers for proper function.
- Stay alert and informed.
Find these tips and more at: http://forestry.alaska.gov/pdfs/firewise09.pdf