Tip: Use Landscaping Services To Reduce Fire And Wildfire Risks
Protecting realty, animals, and people from the effects of fires and wildfires can be easier when using landscaping services that incorporate features designed to reduce fire hazards.
The Fire Triangle Should be Considered in Protective Landscaping
The fire triangle involves these hazards:
Diminish any one of the legs of the triangle and you can lessen the intensity of a fire or prevent it altogether.
Landscaping Should Reduce The Danger of Fuel Hazards
Property owners or managers are encouraged to remove grass, shrubs, and trees to help reduce fire danger. But let’s be honest. No one wants to live or work in a featureless wasteland, and it really isn’t necessary. Consider incorporating the following features when landscaping:
- Plant grasses or groundcovers with a natural height limit, thus reducing the necessity of cutting and clearing.
- Combine groundcover with non-flammable motifs, as in gravel walks, rock gardens, parking lots, driveways, sporting fields, or courts.
- Plant shrubs and trees that have a natural resistance to fire. Avoid those that are resinous and, therefore, highly flammable.
- Shrubs and trees should be spaced more widely apart the closer they are to structures. Avoid large clumps that could provide dense fuels for fires.
- Use non-flammable or fire-retardant materials for fences, arbors, and other landscape-related items.
Landscaping Should Reduce The Danger of the Heat Hazard
Of all liquids, water has a very high ability to absorb calories of heat before rising in temperature. Water on a fire reduces heat and will stop the fire.
- Incorporate ponds, streams, fountains, cisterns, and other forms of water reservoirs into landscaping and at strategic locations as buffers zones and water sources for fire fighting.
- Install dry hydrants where applicable. A dry hydrant is a non-pressurized independent connection that leads to a water source. Fire trucks can connect to these hydrants when fighting fires.
- Install roof sprinklers to protect buildings, and beef-up landscaping sprinklers to help wet down the grounds when necessary.
- Public water mains can become overloaded during large fires. Wells with independent power sources and connections placed strategically for firefighting can remedy water scarcity.
Landscaping Should Reduce The Danger of the Oxygen Hazard
Fire requires oxygen. Water can drown a fire (in addition to reducing the heat), but fire can also be smothered by sand, dirt, or inert gasses.
- Maintain piles of sand or dirt that can readily be used to kill small fires or contain larger ones until water trucks or other help arrives.
- Keep backpack equipment on hand that carries chemicals or water to help control spot fires.
- Install an inert gas fire control system in outbuildings with operating gasoline or propane-fueled machinery. This prevents an accidental equipment fire from spreading into a major wildfire.
- Do a study of local air movement. Avoid placing potential fuel sources, like trees or shrubbery, in the path of predictable currents.
Economics and Professional Advice are Important
It will take some work and study to determine all the steps you will want to take to reduce fire hazards through landscaping. Before the actual landscaping is done, contact a number of sources for professional advice and help.
- Many local, state, and federal provisions provide tax breaks, funding, and other incentives for taking fire prevention measures. It varies from area to area and state to state, and eligibility can be very specific.
- State and local agencies document their requirements for landscape maintenance to prevent fires. Align your plans with these requirements.
A trained and seasoned landscaper will be familiar with techniques, plants, and requirements that are helpful in planning for fire control, or will know where to find the necessary data.
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