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Prevent Fire Damage in the Outdoors
By Jonathan Meyer
The outdoors area should be a part of your property protection plan. Do not overlook the patio, backyard, roof and garden when inspecting for fire hazards. These places are as important as the indoors especially since there are other factors that will affect fire behavior.
Many home losses are a direct result of the roof catching fire. When building or replacing the roof, consider using non-combustible or fire-resistant roofing materials, such as Class A shingles, metal, cement, or terra cotta tiles.
If your roof is not fire retardant it can be treated with fire retardant processes to reduce fire hazards and roof flammability.
If you store wood in your backyard, follow the basic fire safety rules to prevent the wood from catching fire and leading to a disaster. Remember: the way you maintain your wood can reduce the occurrence, size, and intensity of a fire.
Create a safety perimeter around the wood. It is recommended to keep a 30-foot clearance around wood. A green lawn will make a good safety perimeter as long as it is clear of leaves, twigs, and other flammable debris.
Trees and Plants
Some plants and trees are more fire-resistant than others. It is recommended to plant such plants and trees in the safety perimeter. Generally, these plants are recommended to use on your property. For example, hardwood trees are more fire-resistant than pine.
Remove dry leaves, dead limbs, twigs and debris as they may fuel a small fire leading to a more intense fire and to a potential disaster.
Thin out or trim your trees to keep a 15-foot space between tree crowns. This will reduce the chance of fire spreading from tree to tree. If you own high trees or cannot perform this job by yourself, hire a professional.
Remove limbs and dead branches from 6 to 10 feet off the ground to prevent fire from spreading from the ground to the trees. Keeping your trees trimmed will also help prevent trees from coming in contact with electrical wires.
Trees must be maintained and pruned especially near buildings, chimneys, and stove outlets.
The Barbecue Grill
The best way to maintain your grill is to keep it clean of dirt, debris, and grease buildups. It is recommended to clean the grill after every use and remove dust and charred foods.
Make sure that any hoses on a gas grill are in good shape and are crack-free. Propane or natural gas leaking from a cracked hose may send out a stream that, if ignited, can produce huge flames or even an explosion.
Avoid using rusty or damaged propane tanks. These must be replaced periodically to ensure safe use.
Smart Tips for Fire Damage Prevention in the Outdoor Living Areas
- Use fire-resistant roofing materials or treat your roof with fire retardant processes.
- Create a 30-foot safety perimeter around wood stored in your backyard.
- Plant fire-resistant trees and plants.
- Trim your trees periodically and keep a 15-foot space between crowns.
- Keep you BBQ grill clean and crack-free.