When a wildfire is approaching are you prepared? Wildfires are a constant threat in many parts of the country and thousands of structures are destroyed by fire each year. While avoiding a fire completely is next to impossible, there are some things that you can do to help protect your property. Firescaping is one way to deter the catastrophic effects of wildfires. Firescaping is an approach to landscape design that can slow down the effects of a fire and help protect your property. With careful planning, firescaping also has the ability to increase the value of your property by utilizing specific plant selections and appealing landscape components and incorporating them into the overall design. A firescape uses natural and manmade landscape structures, such as patios, walkways, parking areas and water features such as pools, streams or ponds to create a fire break. Other structures such as non-flammable fencing made from stone, concrete or brick are also incorporated into the firescape design. The result is a beautiful and fire-resistant yard or garden that has the potential to save your home.
Most wildfires begin as a surface fire. Keeping your property clean of natural leaves, cones and broken limbs removes one source of natural fuel for wildfires. Firescaping plant selection is determined by the plants ability to reduce the threat of a wildfire. No plant is completely fireproof but some are considered fire resistant. In general, a fire resistant plant has certain desirable features such as moist supple leaves. Choose fire smart plants with high moisture content that are low growing with stems and leaves that are non-resinous, oily or waxy. Deciduous trees are fire resistant with a high moisture content and typically do not contain flammable oils. Placement and maintenance of trees and shrubs is just an important as plant selection. When planning tree placement for example, consider the trees size at maturity and factor this into your overall design. When designing a landscape for defensible space, remember a little goes a long way. Leave space between plants and groups of plants. In firescaping open spaces are often more important than the plants themselves.
Some suggestions for defensible space include:
• Create a minimum 30’ defensible space area around structures
• Remove dead vegetation
• Create plant islands with space between them
• Keep plants green and low growing – clean, lean and green
Despite taking all precautions, fire and water damage can be next to impossible to avoid. If you are a victim of fire and water damage there is help at hand. The highly trained and skilled professionals at American Hometown Services have been offering water and fire damage cleaning and restoration for over 30 years. Our cleaning and restoration team understands how emotional and stressful it can be when damages occur to your home or business. American Hometown Services strives to provide the highest level of quality work while also providing caring and compassionate customer satisfaction. Contact American Hometown Services today and speak with a customer service professional to schedule an appointment with a specially trained, certified, licensed, insured and bonded team member. We are available to assist you 24/7 and to help walk you through the restoration process each and every step of the way.