Fire Wise: Keeping fire safe

By Brenda Keen


This column will begin a series of articles that will hopefully help to inform you, the homeowner how you can help keep your dwelling and surroundings free from the danger of fires. As you read these facts each week and adhere to the information provided, you should have a home that will be much safer for you and your family.

Any time Firewise meetings are held, typically the first question we ask the participants is to explain what they think a “wildfire is”. Many responses are given, but the response that defines a wildfire is simply any fire that is out of control. In these articles, we will expand the information to include what to do in the event there is a wildfire, but also how to protect the inside of your home as well.

The information you will be provided as a result of the series of Firewise facts should help you to keep your family safe.

Let’s begin by concentrating on wildfires. For the homeowner to reduce the risk of wildfire is not difficult. Most Firewise modifications are simple and not very expensive.

Create what is referred to as a “defensible space around your home by reducing or getting rid of vegetation at least 30 feet on all sided of the home.

Remove any tree limbs that reach over and overhang on the home making sure there is at least 8 feet of clearance.

When landscaping, use drought resistance plants near the home. Plant any plants away from t your home that have oil or waxy leaves.

When building a home, choose materials that are fire resistant.

Build your home in an manner that your property could be accessed easy in the event that you had a need to cal 911 for emergency help.

I will expand on several of these points in the weeks to come. I will also provide you with a questionnaire you will be able to answer in weeks to come to determine if your home is indeed safe. Lets all strive for homes that are truly FIREWISE!!

If you would like to have a Firewise meeting conducted, please contact Brenda Keen at 662-242-5173. Firewise is sponsored in partnership with the Winston County Board of Supervisors and the Mississippi State Extension Service, Winston County.