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Homeland Security


History   |   Fire Protection in Undeveloped Areas   |   Fuels
The Existing Home   |   Fire Safety Checkist   |   As A Last Resort

Fire Safety Checklist

GENERAL:  The rural homeowner can take a number of general fire prevention steps to improve home protection. Review these suggestions and see how your situation appears.

ROADS:  Have a good road to your home; this is critical. The roads should be wide enough to provide fire truck access and a safe escape route for you. Provide adequate turnarounds. Fire-proof trees along the road by removing dead limbs and brush; remove dead or dying trees to reduce the chance of a fire-fallen tree blocking the road. A locked gate could prevent a fire truck from reaching your home. Remember-your road should be used to advantage to create an area of reduced fuel and establish your "defensible space" around your home.

WATER:  Keep water stored in swimming pools and nearby ponds or storage tanks. Plan adequate access for a fire truck to reach the water. A small portable pump can make that water available to you for fire fighting. Remember-if the electricity is off, the pump in your well will not help.

POWER LINES:  Inspect nearby overhead power lines periodically to make sure limbs are cleared back a safe distance. Snags or danger trees can also be a problem. If right-of-way maintenance is required, contact your power company or local fire department.

DEBRIS BURNING:  Follow all local burning regulations. If debris burning is part of your fuel reduction plan, avoid summer burning or burning when winds are gusty.

LANDSCAPING:  Plan landscaping with fire prevention in mind. Provide open space, plant fire-resistant species and keep plants away from the house.

FIREPROOF YOUR GROUNDS:  Fuel reduction is an effective way to reduce wildfire hazards. Blend natural breaks in forest fuels with primary and secondary fuel breaks that you construct around your structures.