Plants and trees in your yard could spark a deadly fire that may consume your home and endanger your loved ones.
What’s the answer? A national gardening company has 10 recommendations that may save your home and your life. And at the same time, the company, Armstrong Garden Centers, apparently hopes to get some publicity for itself.
“We want to help ensure the safety of homeowners and their homes, especially those living in high-risk areas,” said Armstrong Garden Centers Regional Manager Eric Asakawa. “While no plant is fireproof, simple firescaping can be the solution, from choosing plants with fire retardant abilities to knowing proper defensible landscape maintenance to keeping irrigation systems in excellent shape.”
Here are the 10 most important things you can do, according to the Armstrong company, to help safeguard your home by creating and maintaining a fire-resistant landscape:
1. Know your plants and research their fire retardant abilities.
2. Replace flammable trees and shrubs with fire-resistant varieties.
3. Immediately remove any dead, diseased or dying trees or shrubs.
4. Create a wide “firebreak” around your home by removing brush and dried grass from the perimeter of your property.
5. Dense brush means more fire fuel. Keep shrubs and trees thinned out, and keep skirts removed from palms.
6. Keep irrigation systems in working order and check regularly for adequate coverage in case of an emergency.
7. Eliminate large, overhanging branches from driveways that could restrict fire vehicles.
8. Keep landscape in good condition, including responsibly watering plants or removing dried grass and replacing with a fire-resistant ground cover.
9. Feed plants and shrubs with organic fertilizers. This reduces quick, soft growth that often results from high-nitrogen chemical fertilizers.
10. Keep roofs and gutters free of dead leaves and other debris. “Vegetation can either lead a fire to a structure, or stop it,” said Asakawa. “Firescaping and creating defensible space around homes is one of the most critical steps homeowners can take to prevent property loss and ensure their own safety.”
— Wire reports