Brushfires are more dangerous than you can imagine. You must protect yourself, your family, and your properties from the enormous potential damage brought about by it. Familiarizing yourself with what is a brushfire will teach you on how to prevent it. Plus, it will contribute to not only the safety of your family but also of the entire community.
What Causes Brush Fire
A brushfire, just like grass and forest fires, peak in March and April when daily temperatures regularly climb. Brushfires are mostly intentionally set, may begin from hot embers or ashes, may result from burning debris or waste—others from high wind. Smoking paraphernalia causes a little percentage—some from playing with fire, from fireworks, from lightning, from sparks. A few from residues and flames resulting from equipment operation and the rest are from power or utility lines. Naturally or intentionally made, brushfires will cost you a lot if it’s not prevented.
How to Prevent Brush Fires
If you live in a place that is likely to have brushfires, you must exercise the general precautions and fire prevention. It is entirely possible to prevent brushfires. First, it is by preventing the start of fires. Secondly, it is also by minimizing the effects of fires that have been started.
There are a lot of simple ways on how to prevent brushfires. They are related to general rules on fire safety. We got to keep matches and lighters away from children as well as provide safe disposal containers for smoking materials and dispose of smoking materials promptly and adequately in fire-resistant containers and never on the ground. As much as possible, don’t start a fire outside on dry or windy days. As you may, kindly leave the fireworks to the experts because even fireworks are not exempted from triggering brushfires. Be advised to take extra care when refueling your equipment. Not using fuel as an accelerant to burn waste is a lot of help. When holding a camping or other related activity, be attentive to any outdoor fire and ensure it is completely put off when you leave. Keeping a hose on hand long enough to reach property boundaries will give you enough prevention.
Fuel sources such as gas to paints and cleaning chemicals stored in or around your home are potential fire causes, so you must store a minimal amount of those or store them only in approved safety cans. Branches and shrubs should also be kept a minimum of 15 feet away from heat sources, and from chimney outlets, and grills. When stacking firewood, put them at least 10 feet from your home’s structure. Even a little way of cleaning dead branches, leaves, and brush surrounding your home’s structure regularly, can help prevent a brushfire. You also need to keep your gutter, attics, and roof clear of leaves and debris. That way, you are helping minimize brushfire damages. You must also take note that tree branches that hang over your home are a potential fire hazard. Trim back tree branches and raise canopies to 8 feet or higher. Trim hedges to a maximum of 3 feet, too.
A lot of us would like to have a lovely garden, but don’t you know you have to exercise certain precautions so as not to ignite a brushfire in your place? For your garden, choose for gravel as garden beds, and choose those slower-burning plants. That way, you are helping minimize the start of a potential brushfire and, at the same time, beautify your garden in a safe way possible. You must choose non-flammable roofing, and fire-resistant siding, vents, and fences as well. You also need to learn and comply with local fire safety ordinances for outdoor/open-air burning, including campfires, fire pits, chimineas, outdoor fireplaces, and grills.
A simple step of operating a piece of outdoor equipment cautiously, especially during a fire season will save you bucks. The most used one is the lawnmower, be aware of the metal objects or even rocks that create sparks when hit by mower blades, they react to grasses and may cause a fire in an instant.
How to Stay Safe During a Brush Fire?
During a brushfire, know if you want to stay and shield your house or go somewhere safe. If you’re going to stay and save your house, let the local fire department know your plan, so that if the bush fire unexpectedly strikes, they help protect your home, or keep you safe. If you wish to stay, do so, but let your other family members leave, especially the vulnerable ones. If you want to go somewhere safe, bring all the necessary valuables, and bring your pets. Grab some money for survival in the meantime.
Be updated on the condition of the bushfire by listening to radios. Use your mobile phone too, to keep in touch with people and let them know how events are happening.
Ask the local fire brigade/police if they will have medical stations for check-ups after the fire, and don’t hesitate to have it. You may also talk to local seniors and responsible persons to know what’s happening. You may ask them to be of help to you and the others.
Educate your children about brushfires and answer all their questions in a manner that makes them prepared when the time comes but don’t scare them. Be vigilant enough and device something that would let others know that a brushfire is on. It is not advisable to burn grass near plastic ducts as they are flammable. Avoid driving your car dry grass because the exhaust is hot enough to start a possible fire. You must always also keep a fire extinguisher in your car in case you accidentally start a roadside fire. Finally, ensure your brakes are not overly worn as metal to metal contact can generate sparks and cause a fire. If ever you notice anyone behaving suspiciously or attempting to start a malicious fire, contact the local law enforcement as quickly as possible.
Lastly, if you do witness an arson attempt, take note of the person’s appearance and what they are driving. Because of the dangerous nature of fire, the law usually levies heavy penalties on people who commit arson, including jail time and significant fines.
What is a bushfire? Brushfires can strike at any time and anywhere. Not only do they cause millions of dollars in property damage, but they can also endanger lives. Being prepared and being aware of it means being ready for action, saving your life, and your properties. The trick is to know about bushfires and to be prepared when it occurs. Find out more about emergency plans.