The Firewise Board in conjunction with the CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) is conducting Fire Hazard Severity property evaluations to determine how “firewise” properties are. The evaluations will be used to help the Fire Department in securing grants to help homeowners clean brush, limbs, etc. on their property and around their homes making them more fire safe.
As a homeowner, there are things you have little or no control that are considered in the evaluation. For example, the width of the road, the number of roads surrounding the property, the topography of the roads and property, location of fire hydrants and whether a fire truck can turn around in your driveway.
However, as a homeowner, there are some things you can do:
1. Ensure your address sign is easily visible from the street.
2. Clear your property of dead vegetation. Clear the grass and bushes from under the trees that create a ladder affect in a fire. Maintain a 30’ defensible space around your house. A defensible space is the buffer you create between a building on your property and the vegetation around your home. It is important in slowing the spread of a wildfire approaching your home and may protect your home from catching fire or protect the firefighters defending your home.
3. If adding on to your home, consider using fire retardant materials such as block, concrete, stone, etc. and use plants that are more fire resistant. If you are roofing your home, consider using materials that are fire retardant.
4. Consider modifying your drive way to incorporate a roundabout large enough for a fire truck to turn around or create a drive thru drive way.
In October the Firewise Board is planning a Town Hall meeting to address issues pertaining to fire safety in your home and on your property.
For more additional tips on making your home firewise, go to www.firewise.org or www.oraclefire.org or call the Oracle Fire Department at 520-896-2980.
(Brought to you by the Oracle Firewise Board.)