Although there are many wonderful things about living in California, residents need to come to terms with the fact that there are dangerous aspects about this area, as well. For one thing, wildfires are all too common — and they often have devastating effects on families who call this area home. If you intend for your family to thrive in Redding, you’ll need to be proactive about reducing your risk of property damage and improving your overall safety. While there are many ways to do this, firescaping is one that is often overlooked.
You might already be familiar with some basic landscaping concepts, but there are some different rules to keep in mind when you’re trying to create what’s known as a “defensible space.” In today’s post, we’ll talk about what that term means and some ways you can improve your property’s fire prevention features.
What Is a Defensible Space?
Having a defensible space is important for property owners, but what exactly does that mean? Essentially, it’s an outdoor area surrounding a structure (like a home or office building) that has been specifically designed and maintained to minimize fire dangers. These practices, often called “firescaping,” are used to reduce the likelihood that any fire will spread within the outdoor space or to any structure surrounding it. Firescaping also provides safer access points for firefighters to defend areas threatened by flames. This is usually done by surrounding a given structure with features that are less likely to burn, dividing the area up into zones, and regular maintenance.
How Can You Prevent Fires on Your Property?
Now that you understand the basic concept of firescaping, you’ll be in a better position to know what’s involved and how you can take steps to protect your own property. Here are some that can prevent the spread of fires in the area surrounding your home or business.
- Trim Your Trees: You should prune your trees and shrubs to ensure that no overgrown plants will threaten your fire safety. At a minimum, all branches should be 10 feet away from other trees and structures. You should take care to remove any and all branches that hang over the roof. There should be a clear space between your trees or bushes and flammable backyard items like furniture, tool sheds, and playground equipment. A professional tree cutting service can ensure you have a defensible space year-round.
- Remove Dead Vegetation: In addition to prioritizing your tree cutting and trimming, you should also contact a professional tree removal company to assess the state of any plants on your property and whether they are dead or dying. Since the average urban tree has a life expectancy of only eight years, you may have several trees on your property that are currently unhealthy. Because trees that are in distress are more susceptible to fire, you should contact your local tree service to ensure any dead or dying trees are cleared from the property. Remove dead plants, grasses, or weeds regularly, as well as branches and debris.
- Keep Grass Cut Short: In general, you should keep your grass mowed down on the shorter side. In fact, you should keep all grasses that extend up to 100 feet away from your home or structure cut down to four inches high or below. You should refrain from using ornamental grasses, as these are often extremely flammable.
- Space Out Landscaping: In addition to tree cutting, tree removal, and proper lawn care, you should also utilize proper spacing for trees and shrubs when designing your yard. You’ll want to remove all tree branches at least six feet off the ground for lone trees; for trees nearby bushes and other vegetation, trim branches to provide clearance that measures three times the height of the shrub. When trees are close to one another, you should maintain at least 10 feet of horizontal clearance between branches and structures. On slopes, this distance should be increased to 20 or 30 feet.
While you may not be able to prevent all wildfires, prioritizing tree cutting and removal (along with improved landscaping) can make a big difference in your safety. For more information on how our services can promote your defensible space, contact us today.