No matter where you live fires that start outside of your home can effect your home. If you live in the country you could have a brush or field fire. If you live near a park or wooded area a forest fire could cause you problems. If you live in the city homes around yours could catch on fire and spread to your home.
There are a number of locations around the country that see yearly fire damage due to brush and forest fires. Probably the most notable is Los Angeles and that is because the property value is high and the properties are owned by famous people but many other states suffer from the same problem.
Florida has large areas of burn zones located along I95 on the East Side of the State and near the everglades in the central and western part of the state. Southwestern states, Northeastern … to be honest every state has its problems and what you do may make the difference between you losing everything or being one of those homes in the center of a disaster that seems to go untouched.
So, what can you do to limit your exposure to natural fire zones?
Location of your home
Fire rises just like a hot air balloon. If you know that the area you are living in is prone to brush fires try to purchase a home that is on a plateau and not on the side of a hill.
Fire will rush up hills faster then it will cross flat areas. If your home is on the side of a hill then you should clear the brush on the hill that is below your home.
Trees should be planted at least 30 feet from your house and conifers should be spaced so the tops do not touch.
Remove the lower branches of your trees that are within 100 feet of your home to 10 foot in height.
Never allow a tree or bush to come in direct contact with your home or overhang your roof.
When taller grasses go dormant it is important that you cut them back and collect the debris.
Deciduous trees that lose their leaves have less of a risk then the conifers so if you want both on your property try to mix them and space them at least 20 feet apart.
Exterior Home Surfaces
Steel and clay tile roofs can provide added protection over standard asphalt shingles.
Concrete, Brick, Stone, Stucco or Cerement Board siding is a better choice then wood or vinyl.
Wood porches should be limited ask your material supplier about fire resistant materials.
Roadways and long driveways
To allow easy access to your property by emergency crews, if you have a long driveway in a rural area you want to make sure there is a fire break on both sides that you keep clear of brush.
If you keep firewood or propane on your property you want to keep it a minimum of 30 feet from the home. The farther the better.
Other Problems to watch for
If you live near a forest preserve or other park you may want to work with your neighbor to clean out some of the lower growth for a distance of about 300 yards.
This includes county lands or any public space that goes unmanaged.
If you have a pool or pond on your property you should invest in a gasoline powered 1 inch brown water pump that can provide enough pressure to put out fires when connected to a larger sized hose.