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SacBee is trying to help us fireproof our homes for this summer and the upcoming fall 2011. Try to go through with these helpful hints for fireproofing your home!


Maintain "defensible space" of 100 feet around your home by cleaning up dead branches, leaves and needles and watering regularly. Clean dead leaves and pine needles from the roof and gutters. Cut weeds and grasses to 6 inches or shorter. Remove lower tree branches at least 6 feet from the ground so fire can't climb up.

As part of your defensible space, reduce ground cover height to less than 12 inches within 30 feet of your home and less than 18 inches within 100 feet.

Clear flammable vegetation at least 10 feet from roads and 5 feet from driveways.


Some plants - particularly several California natives and succulents - are not only drought-tolerant but fire-resistant, too. These plants tend to have a low sap or resin content and grow close to the ground without accumulating dead branches, needles or leaves. That also makes them easier to maintain and prune.

Stack woodpiles at least 30 feet from any structure. Remove all vegetation within 10 feet of the pile.


Keep your garden hose connected to the water spigot throughout the fire season. ¦ Never prune near power lines. Call your local utility company first.

When mowing, always work early in the morning. Make sure power tools have spark arresters to prevent equipment-caused fires.


Cover your chimney outlet and stovepipe with nonflam- mable 1/2-inch mesh screen. Remove branches 10 feet from all chimneys.

Make sure your house number is clearly visible from the road. Use 4- to 6-inch reflective numbers to mark your address.

Keep driveways clear and accessible to fire engines. Remember, they are at least twice as big as a car.

Keep the following tools ready and handy: a round-point shovel with a long handle, a rake with a long handle, a ladder tall enough to reach the roof, one or more 5-pound fire extinguishers, at least one bucket and a garbage can full of water with a bailing bucket.

Locate all fire hydrants in your neighborhood.


Soak fireplace ashes or barbecue coals in water before disposing of them.

Store gasoline only in an approved container away from any occupied buildings.


During a wildfire, if you think you should evacuate, it's OK to leave before you're asked by law enforcement or the fire department.

When asked to leave, do so immediately. The safety of your family and the lives of firefighters who need to focus on the fire depend on your getting to safety.

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Posted 2:58 PM

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