As we take action to clean up around the homestead after a long winter, let us think about how we can create a Firewise home and landscape, not only focusing on the vegetation surrounding our home, but also the “human treasure” that we simply cannot seem to get rid of. We all know that someday we
might need these items. Many of these treasures, such as old tires, leftover wood, sofas and other furniture items and papers can contribute to debris piles often located in close proximity to the home. This creates a scenario where we have put kindling around the home that will make it easier to ignite if there is a wildfire. Make sure the items that you are storing do have value. Hoarding items outside can be just as hazardous as hoarding excess items inside. The NFPA offers some great resources to help fire service professionals and others with these potentially hazardous conditions. If you choose to keep these items, do not store them next to the home or under the deck, rather put them in the garage or in an enclosed shed.
Even such things as open garbage cans under the eaves, flammable attachments such as trellises with dead vines, coco or rattan door mats, and patio cushions can create hazardous conditions for a home during a wildfire event. Make sure that your garbage cans have lids and are not located under the eaves of your home. Use nonflammable attachments and remove all dead vegetation away from your home. If you are going to be away from your home, take door mats and patio cushions inside.
Create a healthy and Firewise homestead this year as you do your spring cleaning so that you can have “A Year of Living Less Dangerously from Wildfire”.
Don't let your home look like this! Piles of "human treasures" located in close proximity to a home can act like kindling to a campfire.