The weather outside is beautiful, and with the temperature climbing into the 80’s this early in March, many think it’s a great time to play outdoors. Southern California focuses on the great natural resources, and the attraction is fantastic.
With the joy of dry, warm weather also comes the concern about the drought, incredibly dry vegetation, and with that, fires. Arsonists look forward to hot, dry, windy weather to start fires and revel in the damage they cause.
We can’t stop the firebugs, but we can remove much of the potential for destruction around our own properties. Many HOA’s prepare a “defensible zone” around neighborhoods. They clear out any flammable material, and keep only fire retardant plants on the perimeter. The fire department then has an area that will hamper fires from moving into tracts.
You can also help by making sure there is no flammable material next to your house. Wood piles, trash, dead plants, and “storage” can all burst into flames and lead to the destruction of your home. Some trees are high in oil content and are torches waiting to happen.
People often believe that a tile roof keeps them safe. It sure helps. However, the hot embers sitting on those tiles transfer heat into the attic. Make sure your attic is free of stored flammable items, and the air flow is unimpeded. An attic fan may be a great aid in reducing temperatures that would encourage combustion.
You can’t protect against everything, but taking these steps will certainly help your odds in avoiding the devastation of a home fire. Also, don’t think this only applies to a neighborhood right next to a forest, or heavy brush area. Fires several years ago in San Bernardino resulted in the loss of homes well inside some tracts below the forest level.
Yes, it’s a beautiful day. It’s also a great day to survey your property and neighborhood to be sure you are better prepared to avoid fire problems this year.