Brush Fire Safety
Michigan winters keep the ground frozen for extended periods of time ever after the snow has melted, but as temperatures climb, the vegetation dries out and becomes a serious fire risk. Don’t let your home or property become victim to a brush fire. Maintaining your own property and landscape can help keep your property. Here are some tips to help:
- Keep weeds trimmed, grass cut and brush groomed.
- Remove dead and piled up vegetation, and dispose of it properly.
- Properly dispose of trash and debris. Piles of refuse such as old furniture, boxes and pallets are fires waiting to happen. Even old cars can burn!
- Stack firewood away from structures, fences or anything else that may be combustible.
If you live in an outlying or more rural area, consider these additional steps:
- Create at least a 30-ft. safety zone or firebreak around your home.
- Limit the use of flammable plants in landscape design. Choose fire resistant varieties.
- Plant trees and large shrubs in sparse, separate areas.
- Limit the use of trees and shrubs that have large volumes of foliage and branches.
- Limit the use of plants that have shaggy bark or dry leaves that shed annually.
- Limit the use of plants that develop dry or dead undergrowth.
- Limit the placement of plants next to structures, under eaves, overhangs, decks, etc.
- Limit the use of plants placed at the bases of trees or large shrubs.
- Remove ladder fuels (plants that provide a link between the ground and tree limbs).
- Conduct regular maintenance to reduce the opportunity for brush fires.
- Remove low hanging branches. Also, remove tree limbs around chimneys.
- Keep the roof clear. Sweep gutters and eaves, and wash the roof on a regular basis to get rid of dry needles and leaves.
- Control the height of ground vegetation and mow the grass often.
- Remove dead and accumulated vegetation, and dispose of it properly.
- Provide enough water to keep plants healthy and green. Keep irrigation systems in good working order.
- Top trees only when necessary as topping creates too many lower branches that can increase the fire danger.
- Remove or thin the dead wood and the older trees beyond 100 feet from the house.
- Store and use flammable liquids properly.
ALWAYS dispose of cigarettes carefully.