August 26, 2019 The threat of wildfires is always present, but never more so than in wildfire season. Predicting when a wildfire will start is difficult, given that there are a number of potential contributing factors. However, doing everything you can to prepare your home for a wildfire may afford you and your family life-saving protection. Wildfire Hazards Around the Home Keeping your property clear of hazards is the first defense against wildfires. Cut grass regularly to keep it short and do not leave brush lying around your property. If you have any unhealthy or dead plants, it is also recommended you remove them. These types of plants can burn more quickly than healthy plants; making it a potential hazard in the event of a wildfire. Inspecting your lawn once a week is the best practice for ensuring the grass, plants, shrubs, and trees are properly managed. If your grass has brown tips, it may indicate the lawn is unhealthy. You can rake up debris such as leaves, tumbleweeds, brush, etc. to minimize flammable materials on your property. Allowing this material to remain on the lawn is like setting up kindling around your home. If you use wood for a fire, stove, or construction, make sure it is stored away safely. Do not stack wood out in the open. Ideally, wood should be stored in a fire-resistant closed container. If you must store wood in an open container, use a fire-resistant tarp that covers the wood and the container. The worst place you can store wood is stacked up against your home. It may provide convenience when bringing firewood inside, but this practice can put families in significant danger during wildfire season. Clear Dead Trees Much like dead plant material, trees that are unhealthy or dead can help a wildfire spread. The correct removal of dead trees is vital. A tree that is browning may be dying, so reach out to an experienced arborist to have the hazard removed. The arborist will cut the tree before completely removing the stump. Front Range Arborists can take care of assessing and removing any dead trees from your property, including disposal of the material. In some areas of Colorado Springs, wild brush may invade private property. Homeowners often tolerate invasive species that are persistent. When these shrubs die, they become a highly flammable material. Keep brush under control by having dead material removed and look out for new brush. Fire-Free Zone If you are concerned about wildfires, consider creating a fire-free zone. This involves replacing potentially flammable materials such as plants and trees with rock, stone, or other safe materials. The first-five feet around your home should act as a fire-free zone. If you have any materials that could catch fire surrounding your home, it is time to rethink your landscaping design. Get rid of these materials to protect your family and property. You can replace most features with non-flammable alternatives. Home Improvements to Protect from Wildfire If your roof is constructed from flammable materials, it may be time to reconsider getting a new roof. There are non-flammable roofing materials available that are designed as a suitable material for your area based on fire risk assessment. The vast majority of local roofers can work with these materials, so shop around and ask questions if you are thinking about replacing your roof. Believe it or not, window covering choices can influence your level of safety during a wildfire. You can buy heat resistant window coverings to provide an additional layer of protection for your family and property. It is also advisable to invest in non-combustible shutters to safeguard a property if the worst should happen. Most hardware stores in Colorado will carry fire-resistant window coverings and other products designed specifically with wildfires in mind. You can purchase such products online but make sure you are dealing with reputable sellers of a legitimate product. You can combine heat resistant fabric with non-combustible shutters for best results. Your window coverings can only do so much to block out the heat. However, with the addition of shutters, your home is a little bit safer. Home Vent Protection Embers are the greatest threat to property and life when there are wildfires in or near Colorado Springs. These embers can enter a home through vents. There are amber-resistant vents available for purchase from most major hardware stores. You can also try shopping locally as many smaller retailers are likely to carry ember-resistant vents. If you need further advice on protecting your home in case of a wildfire, reach out to the specialists at Front Range Arborists. We can provide lawn and tree inspections, as well as fire mitigation services in and around Colorado Springs.