Monday, December 20, 2010

Outdoor Fire Safety

When fire proofing your home the inside is a very big part of the inspection indeed but do not forget that the outside is also a safe haven for fires. You should keep in mind that the outside is also part of your home, so do not neglect to check the patio, the backyard, the roof as well as the garden. Minimizing the hazards in these areas is just as important as the dangers indoors. One example of a fire hazard that exists outdoors is storing of wood. When warehousing wood in your backyard it is imperative that you follow the basic preliminary fire prevention rules in order to diminish the chance of wood catching fire which can cause much larger scale disaster. That is why it is important to maintain your wood in safe manner, in order to reduce the occurrence of the fires as well as the strength and size of the fire. One of the first steps to take when making sure that the fire is stored safely is to make at least a 30 feet safety perimeter around the area that the wood is being stored.

An example of a good safety clearance is a green lawn that is free of any types of fire hazards such as flammable debris, toys or lawn ornaments. Now when it comes to plants and fire, there are a lot of plants that are fire resistant; some more than others, it is good to plant these in the area designated as the safety zone.  Even though these plants may be fire resistant, it is imperative that you get rid of any dry leaves, dead limbs, twigs, and rubble that surround the plant(s); preventing these things from fueling a small fire that can escalate into a larger much more intense fire. 

Also take time to survey the roofing material on your home. In previous years many roofs on homes were built with many risky, combustible materials causing a large amount of homeowners to lose their homes; these losses were directly linked to the roof catching fire. Nowadays there are new and improved roofing materials offered to promote fire safety.  When having your home built or either when choosing a home, it would be wise to choose a home that uses non-combustible roofing materials. There are many non-combustible roofing materials available, including: Class A Shingles, Metal or Terra Cotta.  If your roof has already been built and it doesn’t need to be replaced, then you do have the option of treating your roof with fire retardant procedures to reduce the flammability of the roof until it can be replaced.

One last thing to pay attention to when fire proofing the outdoor is barbecue grills. Barbecue grills involve a lot of upkeep. You should clean your grill regularly, and make sure to keep it free of dirt and dust buildup. It would be much easier on you to maintain if you made it your goal to clean the grill after every use paying close attention to dust and cobwebs that may have accumulated. Also make it a habit to check all water hoses in the yard for cracks and to make sure it is in good condition; these are also fire hazards. Last but not least if you use propane tanks, check to see if it is damaged in any way. It is very dangerous to use damaged propane tanks. They are very combustible and can cause major damage.

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