If you own property, you should be thinking about fire safety on a regular basis. But most homeowners and even business owners just set up a smoke alarm or post a map of the building in the break room, and assume they’ve done their part. Not quite. Fire prevention involves a few more proactive measures on your part. Here are some tips to keep in mind that can reduce your risk.
Fire Prevention: Start at the Top
The top of the building is where branches, pine needles and leaves accumulate. Whether it’s on the roof, in the gutters or in your chimney, these flammable materials will be the best kindling a fire could have before it consumes the wood and siding underneath. Proper fire prevention means your roof will need a good cleaning from time to time — especially during the fall. If you live in a place that’s particularly dry, you may need to clear any debris from your roof three to four times a year.
Inside, Outside, and Around
Your chimney should always be clear for fire prevention, and you should never keep firewood against the side of the house. The vegetation on your land should be at least 15 feet away from the house or business – up to 50 feet in more fire-prone areas – and large trees should be 15 feet apart from each other. Stray trees and bushes can easily catch fire and lead straight to the structure. Look for deciduous trees to plant as they tend to retain moisture better than conifers (trees that don’t lose their leaves.) If possible, aim for 30 feet around the building to be entirely clear for even more protection.
Water Matters and Safety Plans
Ladders, 100-foot hoses and a steady supply of available water can help immensely when it’s just you facing the flames. This is especially true if your driveway is narrow, which can cause delays as fire departments try to get their truck closer to you. And of course, always have an evacuation route that employees, family members, and overnight guests know about. If you think these tips are too cautious, consider that 2 of every 5 fires are coded as brush fires, and more than a third are grass fires. Fire departments across the country responded to over 900 fires a day between 2007 and 2011, so you may be at more risk than you think. Keeping anything flammable away from your home means less damage and hassle for a property owner.
If you need home or business insurance, Brashears Insurance has the policies to keep you safe. Whether you need additional coverage on your current policy or are considering a new one, give us a call today to talk to one of our knowledgeable agents!