For many of us, April marks the start of the spring cleaning season and we all know what that means: swap out woolens and gloves for linens and t-shirts; clean out closets and store the skates and skis in the basement and make room in the garage for the rake and garden tools.
For the next few months, why not include some wildfire safety activities in your spring cleaning repetoire. Did you know that many of the simple tasks you'll do around your home in preparation for the warm months ahead, can also help keep your home safer from wildfire?
Consider the following:
* CLEARING leaves and other vegetative debris from roofs, gutters, porches and decks helps prevent embers from igniting your home.
* KEEPING your lawn hydrated and maintained reduces fire intensity. Dry grass and shrubs are fuel for wildfire.
* SCREENING in areas below patios and decks with wire mesh prevents debris and combustible materials from accumulating.
NFPA has a number of helpful, easy tasks you and your family can undertake now and throughout the spring. Download our newest wildfire safety tips sheet and Firewise toolkit for the tips above and more, and start working on those projects today. Feeling ambitious? Our tips for creating more defensible space around your property is the perfect starting point for all that you need to accomplish. Check them all out!
And don't forget, the warm weather means we'll be spending more time outside. Take a moment to talk to you neighbors about how you can all work together to reduce wildfire risk in your neighborhood. The Firewise Communities Program website has plenty of resources, tools and materials to help you get started.
Once you've engaged your neighbors, reach out to others in your community. Learn how everyone plays a role in creating a safer and more fire adapted place to live. Firefighters and other first responders, planners, builders, landscapers and even community leaders all have a responsibility for helping protect their area. You can learn more about how to start a dialogue with members of your community by visiting the Fire Adapted Communities website.
If you're like me, I know you can't wait to finally get outside and enjoy all that Mother Nature has to offer. So take advantage of the warm, sunny weather to awaken your spirits, and at the same time, help keep you and your family wildfire safe!