Create a Fire Free Zone Around Your House-Firewise Landscaping

Edited by Emmanuel M. Lardizabal, Eng, Graeme, Robbi and 3 others

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Firewise landscaping is used to limit the amount of flammable vegetation growing right next to your home. In cases where you live in an area that is prone to fire, this kind of landscaping can save your home or your property.

Keeping the immediate area free of flammables is the number one concept of fire-wise landscaping.Depending on this kind of landscaping can decrease the risk for your family and your property if you live in a region where fires are a common phenomenon.

There are several key features you need to understand when learning how to implement fire-wise landscaping for your home.


  1. 1
    Study and learn the zone concept
    There should be a 20-foot open buffer that has no flammable material, or very little flammable materials in the area surrounding your house. You can have alleys or walkways created there to stand in the way of the fire. In some cases the fire will not be able to jump those areas. Use the measuring tape to create that safety zone. The second zone is located 20 to 100 feet away from the house and it represents a moderate to high hazard area. The third zone is located 100 to 200 feet away from your home.
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  2. 2
    Choose the right patio furniture and accessories
    If you are really interested in fire-wise landscaping, pick non-flammable materials. Metal is a great option for a fire-wise landscaping patio.
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  3. 3
    Plant low-growing and fire resistant plants in the second zone
    These plants include philodendron, century plant, sycamore, Aloe Vera, kiwi fruit, yellow daisy bushes, hibiscus, hydrangea, geranium and lilac. Plants in this area should be well-irrigated, kept very moist so designing the right water system is very important. Gravel and pebbles can be used to create borders and break away the "islands" of vegetation for even higher safety.
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  4. 4
    Modify the appearance of the third zone
    The third zone is located away from the house and some trees are possibly growing there. You will need to do some modifications, in order to create fire-wise landscaping. Remove smaller conifers that grow between the other trees. If there is too much debris like dry leaves and branches, you will need to get that removed, as well. Prune the trees at approximately six feet from the ground.
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  5. 5
    Get rid of weeds and unnecessary vegetation
    Ladder fuels is a term that refers to low-level vegetation that will allow an eventual fire to spread from the ground to the nearby plants. There should be clear separation between the groups of plants surrounding your home. Remove all weeds and other vegetation that can be considered a fire hazard.
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  6. 6
    Some trees and shrubs may have to be removed
    Certain species are highly flammable and you will have to get rid of them. These include Italian cypress, red cedar and arborvitae. The new trees should be planted at least 10 feet apart from each other and they should also be at least five feet away from the house or any other garden structure.
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  7. 7
    NO tree branches should be overhanging your home
    If there are tree branches over your roof or trees in close to your home, then some may need to be taken out. Prune back any trees which overhang the top of your home as far back as you can. If you are unable to do so, the trees may need to be removed in order to safeguard your home.
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  • Getting a good sprinkler system in and having it automatically water is a great idea. Making sure that you can use it manually in case of a fire is also a wise move.

If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.


Article Info

Categories : Home Safety

Recent edits by: Olivia, JMA, Robbi

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