Many homes in the UK are potentially affected by woodland fires. Certainly local to Entrust in Fleet in Hampshire, Surrey and Berkshire there have recently been a number of serious woodland fires.
If your home is located in a woodland setting or rural area you may face the threat of woodland fires. These often begin quietly and then spread quickly, igniting brush, trees, and even homes. You can reduce your risk by following these tips to help protect your family, home and property from woodland fire.
Before a woodland fire occurs:
Install smoke detectors and fire extinguishers throughout your home.
Keep a garden hose that is long enough to reach the house and structures on the property.
Make sure fire tools such as a ladder, shovel, rake, axe, water bucket etc are handy.
If you are very rural consider installing a back-up generator in case electrical power is shut off.
Keep the roof and gutters free of leaves, needles, branches, and other debris.
Stack firewood at least 30 feet away from home.
Store valuable documents in a fire-resistive safe or an off-premise location.
Maintain an adequately watered defensible space around your house when the weather is very dry.
Remove all dead plants, trees, branches, and debris.
Remove all flammable native plants within 30 feet of home.
Remove branches that extend over the roof or within 6 feet of the home.
Maintain a minimum of 15 feet between tree crowns.
Trim tree limbs to 15 feet off the ground or 1/3 total crown height, whichever is less.
Mow grass regularly.
Clear a 10-foot area around propane tanks or barbecue area.
Separate shrubs by a distance of at least twice the height of the shrub. Keep shrubs thinned.
When Wildfire Approaches
Turn on a light in each room to increase the visibility of your home in heavy smoke.
Close windows, vents, doors, venetian blinds or non-combustible window coverings.
Remove lightweight and/or non-fire resistant curtains and materials from around windows.
Shut off natural gas at the meter.
Connect the garden hose to outside taps.
Place lawn sprinklers on the roof and near above-ground fuel tanks. Wet the roof.
Wet shrubs within 15 feet of the home.
Prop a ladder against the house so fire fighters have easy access to the roof.
Place combustible patio furniture in the house or garage.
Move all flammable furniture to the center of the home away from windows and glass doors.
Continually check the roof and attic for embers, smoke or fire.
Do not waste water or jeopardize water pressure until burning embers fall around your home.
If in any doubt contact your local fire brigade for their professional advice.
For insurance advice call Jeremy at Entrust on 0844 272 5358.
Visit us at www.entrust-insurance.co.uk
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