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Five ways to protect your home from brush fires

Posted at 6:00 AM, May 14, 2018
and last updated 2020-05-07 23:16:00-04

Summer temperatures are making their way into Arizona, and we've already seen several brush fires popping up across the state. That’s why it’s so important to start now, if you haven't already, to make sure you’re doing everything you can to keep your home safe during the common summer disaster.

Here are five of the most important things you can do to keep your home safe from a brush fire.

RELATED: State preparing for wildfire season among COVID-19 pandemic

1. Cut down on brush and shrubbery around your home

Getting rid of dead pine needles, leaves and other dead or unhealthy plants is the most common sense thing you can do to cut down on brush fire danger surrounding your home. Dead pine needles and other plant life often act as kindling, much like when you’re trying to start a campfire.

In fact, most fire experts will agree that the best thing you can do is create at least a five-foot barrier around your home where there are no fire dangers. That could also mean having a synthetic porch and using rocks instead of grass for landscaping close to your home. If you do have grass around your home, keep it short and make sure it is healthy and not dried out.

2. Keep firewood stored away from your home

If you keep firewood or other lumber on your property, don’t leave it stacked against your home. Keep firewood in a fire resistant box or covered by a tarp, and a safe distance away from your home.

3. Clean your gutters regularly

Having gutters filled with dead leaves and pine needles can provide an easy spark, especially during warm summer months. Cleaning gutters regularly isn’t a fun chore, but doing it could save your home in the long run.

4. Check your smoke detectors regularly

Smoke detectors are big in any home, but if you have a vacation home that you’re not at every day, new technology could alert you to fire danger when you’d otherwise be unaware. New brands of smoke detectors can be set up to actually alert you on your phone to any fire danger. That way you can call the local fire department or ask a neighbor to check on your home right away. Make sure to regularly check on batteries, and test your smoke detectors just like in any home.

5. Choose fire-resistant roofing and paneling

It can be an expensive upgrade, but getting rid of wooden shingles on your roof, or wood paneling on the outside of your home could save your home from a wildfire. Any local hardware stores should be able to tell you what roofing and paneling are best for the area your home is in, and help you find the most affordable options.