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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Keeping Wildfire From Threatening Your Home

7/22/2021 (Permalink)

Wildfires are a more common threat to homeowners than you might realize. They are incredibly powerful, damaging and fast-moving, and given the amount of natural terrain and manmade structures made of combustible material, it’s a bit of a marvel that we are even able to contain them at all.

But there are some things we can do right at home to give ourselves a better chance of keeping our home safe from wildfire, aside from the obvious choice of simply being more careful.

Specifically, we’re talking about “defensible space.”

What Is Defensible Space?

Despite the nomenclature, it has nothing to do with Star Wars. “Defensible space” is the buffer zone (actually there are three zones, but we won’t go that deep today) you can create around your home by removing potential fire fodder like leaves and dead trees, adding gravel and hardscaping to the immediate area around your exterior, and pruning and planting responsibly.

Think of it as a barrier of protection (aka defense), designed to slow the spread of fire as it nears your home, keeping it from breaching your exterior walls as it runs out of fuel. Defensible space also gives first responders their best chance of stopping a wildfire before it breaches the perimeter of the structure.

Defensible space is not required by law in Iowa like it is on the West Coast, but it’s a good fire safety doctrine to consider all the same.

Why Defensible Space Matters

You may think of wildfires as a California problem, but wildfires can happen anywhere. There were over 59,000 wildfires across the United States in 2020.

Even removing California and its astounding 10,000+ fires from the statistics, the national average of wildfires per state in 2020 was almost 1,000.

What’s more, the first six months of 2021 have seen an increase in fire activity of about 25% over last year’s rate. Iowa suffered 126 wildfires (see, we told you) that burned over 2,100 acres of land.

Defensible space is just one of any number of preventive measures we can take against fire damage, but any measures that can save lives and property are worth taking.

If your home is damaged by fire of any sort, wild or not, SERVPRO is ready and able to repair the damage caused. Get in touch today to get the pros on your team.

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