Make Your Landscaping Fire Resistant

Our homes are havens for our families, and one of the most valuable assets most of us will ever own.  Wildfires are no respecter of property lines, and they know no boundaries.  Take some time this week to check your home’s front line defenses against fire.

Here are some tips from the U.S. Fire Administration that will help you make your landscaping work to defend your home against fire.

  • Regularly trim grass within 100 feet surrounding your home.
  • Keep trees and brush trimmed within 30 feet of your home.
  • Beyond 30 feet from your home, remove dead wood, debris and low branches.
  • There are no fireproof plants, but you can use fire-resistant plants, such as
    • Cotoneaster, rockrose, aloe, honeysuckles, hedging roses
    • Hardwood trees like maple, poplar and cherry
  • If you use firewood, stack it at least 30 feet away from your home and outbuildings.
  • Store flammable materials, liquids and solvents in metal containers outside your home, at least 30 feet away from any structure or wooden fence.
  • Break up some of the organic plantings with hardscape such as walls, gravel or stone walkways.
  • Mulch is a good way to maintain moisture in your plants, but avoid mulch that burns easily such as pine needles or pine bark.  Stone mulch is an effective, fire resistant alternative.
  • We’re all busy, so keeping your landscape simple will make it easier to maintain in a fire-safe manner.

By observing just a few simple landscaping rules you’ll make your home safer.  Creating what’s known as “defensible space” around the outside of your home can help it survive a wildfire.