Saving San Diego Properties: Are You Prepared For Fire Season?

Take steps to protect your home today.
Take steps to protect your home today.

San Diego’s endless summers are envied world wide, but many people don’t realize the threat that San Diego County homeowners must face.  As our October days stay hot and dry, many flock to the beaches and forget to take the time to protect their home from wildfires.  This year is on track to be one of the driest on record in California.  Between January and early June, Cal Fire had already responded to more than 2,100 wildfires – that is about 1,000 more than “average” for that time of year.  Here’s some basic tips on how to protect your properties & prevent fires

Safety First:  Nail the Basics

“Defensible Zone” is a hot buzz word but many people don’t know exactly what this means.  Creating a defensible zone that surrounds up to 100 feet around your property is recommended to protect it from wild fires.  Begin by making sure that the area surrounding your house is clear of debris, space your trees out well (avoid Pine & Fir trees), and prune branches to be at least 10 feet away from the building.   Never park your car on dry grass and keep boats, trailers and RVs at least 30 feet from the house.  Laying down stones or pavers around your house is a great way to reduce fire risks and also conserves water.  Decks made from fire resistant materials, stonewalls, and swimming pools make great “fire safe zones”. 

Protect your home from wildfires by creating defensible space surrounding the house.
Protect your home from wildfires by creating defensible space surrounding the house.

“Defensible” Doesn’t Mean Ugly

“Fire-Scaping” can help you beautify your home while defending it from potential fires.  Choose plants with high moisture and low sap content as these are much more resistant to fire.  Ice plant, aloe, and rock-rose are great cost-effective choices that you can find at any nursery.  If you plant shrubs, some fire-resistant choices are bush honey suckle, hedging roses and lavender bushes.

Safety is a Long Term Investment

Make a “Check List”.  Fire prevention can’t be done “once”, it is an ongoing effort that must be kept up.  Create a check list each of your properties that includes landscaping, cleaning out gutters, refreshing emergency kits, testing fire detecters and reviewing fire evacuation plans with your family or tenants.

These tips are just the basic beginnings of a well laid out plan.  For more information, visit Cal Fire.gov, Ready ForWildfire.org  &  DisasterSafety.org for complete resources to build your custom plan today.

 

 

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