Stay safe if wildfires hit with these prevention tips

| 14 May 2014 | 10:54

The wildfires in New Jersey prompts the nonprofit Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH)® to offer wildfire prevention tips for residents.

You can protect your home and prepare your family for wildfires. Wildfires move fast and embers can be blown more than a mile from the flames so it is critical to take action to make your home wildfire-resilient.

Protect your home
1. Identify an emergency water supply within 1,000 feet of your home through one of the following:

Community water/hydrant system

Drafting site on a lake
Cooperative emergency storage tank with neighbors

Swimming pool
2. Remove fuels that can lead flames to your home or that can become ignited from windblown embers, including:

Dead grass, leaves, etc. (fine fuels) and dead twigs, branches, etc. (coarse fuels) within 30 feet of buildings.

Dry leaf/pine litter from roofs, rain gutters, decks and walkways

Dead and dry litter at the base of plants

Tree branches (ladder fuels) within 6-10 feet of the ground

Firewood within 30 feet of buildings

Continuous beds of combustible vegetation (on the ground or in tree tops) that can bring large flames within 100 feet of your home

3. Clean your gutters, eaves and roof to make sure they are clear of debris

4. Plant species that retain moisture and resist ignition including:

Native, fire-resistant vegetation (check with local forestry agency)

Keep fire prone trees and shrubs away from your home and far enough apart, so they won’t ignite one another

5. Make sure your street number is legible and clearly marked for emergency responders

6. Move any storage sheds including lawn mowers, grills, gas cans and tanks away from your home

7. Before a threat, landscape with fire resistant, native plant species that retain moisture and resist ignition.

8. Install metal screening that blocks embers from entering your buildings, including:

Noncombustible 1/8 inch on attic/crawl space vents, and around low decks

Noncombustible (metal, etc.) skirting around mobile homes

Prepare your family
9. Have a fire disaster plan including at least two, pre-determined evacuation routes, a NOAA Weather Radio and disaster kit for your family

10. Follow any and all evacuation orders immediately

If under a wildfire threat; only remove dead leaves or vegetation when local garbage collection services will have time to pick up the debris. Do not burn vegetation without following local requirements. For more information on wildfire prevention visit or

Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH)® is the country's leading consumer advocate for strengthening homes and safeguarding families from natural and man-made disasters. FLASH collaborates with more than 100 partners that share its vision of making America a more disaster‐resilient nation. Learn more about FLASH and gain access to its free consumer resources by visiting or calling 877-221- SAFE (7233).