No matter how much it rains during the spring, summers in Texas tend to win and dry us out. Dry weather, high temperature and Texas’ native foliage makes fire safety very important. While it’s been a while since we worked through the fires in Bastrop, Texas it is important to have a plan for when a fire breaks out.
CREATE DEFENSIBLE SPACE
The area within 30 feet of your home should see the mot attention for fire hazard reduction and thinning of possible ignition sources, but the landscape up to 100 feet from the structure should be regularly maintained. What this means is that trees, and grasses should be trimmed away from your home when possible. You may even consider xeriscaping the areas closest to your house to eliminate as much fuel as you can.
USE FIRE RESISTANT MATERIALS
If you are planning on building a new home or retrofitting your home with a new porch or addition look into fire resistant materials. Look for non-combustible roofing like asphalt shingles, metal, slate or clay tile, and concrete products. Avoid wood or shake shingles. Choose non-flammable wall materials such as brick, cement, or stucco. Tempered and double pane windows can make a home more resistant to wildfire heat. Also consider flammability when you are selecting fencing or other outdoor additions.
HAVE A PLAN
In the unlikely event that your home does catch fire in a wildfire or some other reason each home should have a fire plan. Make sure that you know what your escape plans are, prepare an emergency kit with vital items and documents (but don’t put yourself at risk grab this). It’s important that everyone in your home knows the plan and how to contact emergency services so make sure to tell your kids and make sure they understand.
KNOW LOCAL RULES
Travis, Hayes, and Bastrop counties all are prone to official “Burn Bans” when these are in effect it indicates a higher than normal risk for wildfire. When your county is under a burn ban it is unlawful to have campfires, shoot off fireworks, and in some cases even use things like private firepits.