Due to an unusually warm pattern with little moisture for most of Colorado, this dry and warm start to the year has raised concerns of the fire danger for the coming months.
Homeowners can be better prepared for fires with the following tips:
- Check smoke detector batteries.
- Check fire extinguishers.
- Check electric wiring for damage.
- Make sure electrical outlets and extension cords are not overloaded.
- Check air conditioning units.
- Inspect barbecue gas grills (including gas hoses) and propane tanks prior to use.
- Clear needles, leaves, and other debris from gutters, roof surfaces, porches, and decks. This eliminates receptive fuel beds.
- Keep lawns watered and mowed to less than 4 inches high. Grass and shrubs are fuel for wildfire.
- Remove flammable materials within 3-5 feet of the home’s foundation and outbuildings, including garages and sheds. If it can catch fire, don’t let it touch the house, deck, or porch. Also remove vegetation and debris from under decks and along fences.
- Limit vegetation surrounding the home’s perimeter for 30-100 feet depending on the terrain, construction materials, and vegetation type. Of course, also check with your insurance company to see what they require. Some have to keep a thirty foot perimeter around their home free of weeds and tall grasses.
A comprehensive checklist for preparing for wildfires is available online at: http://www.fireadapted.org/.
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