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Reducing Fire Danger In and Around Your Home

kitchen fire damage

Kitchen Fire Damage

The weather is heating up, which means forest fires are on the rise. Home fires are also a potential risk as the summer months warm up. Homeowners need to better understand how to create a “defensible space” between their home and fire hazard materials outdoors, as well as limiting the chances for igniting something within your home.

“Zoning” Your Outdoor Space

A “home ignition zone” is anywhere from 100-200 feet around the house, divided into three areas, and understanding the size and purpose of these areas can help limit the flammable materials that are in close proximity to the home.

  • Zone 1: includes items within about a 30-foot radius of the house, including decks, fences, trees, and bushes. Plants in this zone should be small and free of oils and resins, lawns should be mowed regularly, and trees pruned 6 to 10 feet off the ground. High-moisture plants, such as annual and perennial flowers, can help reduce the chance of ignition, and fire-prone materials, such as a propane tank, should not be stored in this zone.
  • Zone 2: the area 30 to 100 feet from the house should be a low-growing, less-flammable and well-irrigated area. Plant a variety of trees and shrubs, being careful to leave adequate space between, perhaps using driveways, walkways, and lawns to break up the tree and vegetation areas.
  • Zone 3: 100+ feet from the home is the least dangerous, but doesn’t mean that flammable materials in this zone are completely safe. Remove small plants, such as conifers, that could potentially become kindling for a fire, keep wood accumulation in forested areas to a minimum, and keep tree density low to prevent growth of vegetation that could fuel a fire.

It’s also important to keep home gutters clean (removing any flammable materials), and purchase fire-resistant materials for places like your deck whenever possible. Also avoid building flammable surfaces right next to, or in close proximity to, the house.

Reducing Fire Danger Inside Your Home

The good news in the summer is that while outdoor fire danger is increasing, indoor fire danger is usually going down (with fewer Christmas trees, fireplaces, and space heaters in warm weather). That doesn’t mean you don’t need to pay any attention to it, though. The most common fire hazards inside and immediately around your home include:

  • Candles left burning unattended
  • Overcrowded storage areas, such as closets, basements, or garages
  • Exposed electrical wires
  • Improper cooking with stoves, ovens, or grills
  • Cigarettes
  • Outdoor fire pits

Homeowners should be vigilant about the use of anything that could ignite a fire, and also vigilant about reducing items that could provide fuel to a fire. A quick home fire inspection by a trained professional can help you identify risks you might not have noticed, and provide tips for reducing the danger in and around your home. If you do suffer from a devastating home or property fire, call the restoration professionals at AAA Restoration today to get everything back to normal.