Protect your Family from Fire

FOR RELEASE ON:  October 8, 2011

For More Information Contact: Pat Cross, State Prevention Specialist, Montana DNRC, 406-542-4251, pcross@mt.gov

It’s Fire Prevention Week.

Protect your Family from Fire with Defensible Space

What’s the best way to protect your family from fire? Be ahead of the game, of course. This is Fire Prevention Week across the United States, and this year the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) is joining all of Montana’s fire departments in urging everyone to guard against the leading causes of home fires -- cooking, heating and electrical equipment, as well as candles and smoking materials. The DNRC, along with your local fire departments are also asking you to do everything you can to create a defensible space around your home.

By creating a “defensible space” you can help prevent fires from starting on your property, and create a protective buffer to keep fire from spreading to your home. This defensible space creates a firebreak and gives firefighters room to work when battling to protect your home and property.

Pat Cross, State Prevention Specialist with the Montana DNRC says, “Creating defensible space and using firewise landscaping techniques is an easy and cost effective way to protect your home. Plus in most of the rural areas in Montana it’s not a matter of “if “ but when wildfire will strike, so it’s best to take a defensive.”

Cross lists a few of the easy steps you can take to give your home a “fighting chance” should wildfire strike:

  • Thinning the trees around your home so there is 15 feet between crowns will reduce the chance of fire spreading from tree to tree
  • Eliminating “ladder fuels”, brush, small trees etc, will keep fire from climbing into tree tops
  • Dispose of slash and other fuels around your home. If fire does strike it will have less fuel to burn
  • Keep brush and other fuels cut back from your driveway so emergency vehicles can enter and leave.
  • Create at least a 30-foot safety zone around your home by watering and mowing your lawn and landscaping with fire resistant plants.
  • Clean debris from your roof and gutters
  • Display your name and house number in front of your property to assist emergency crews in locating your home

These are a few of the simple steps you can take to protect your home from wildfire, for more information contact your local fire agency or visit www.keepgreen.org

MONTANA DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES AND CONSERVATION

Helping to ensure that Montana’s land and water resources provide benefits for present and future generations

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