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6/12/2012 - Summer brings higher risk of wildfires

Wildfire risks are elevated during the summer.

With the summer on the doorstep, fire safety officials are reminding home and business owners that there is a heightened risk for wildfires.

"The unusually dry and windy weather at this time of year means that wildfires pose a greater threat to individual properties and neighborhoods across the U.S.," said Michele Steinberg, firewise communities program manager at the National Fire Protection Association. "It’s simply easier, in these conditions, for fires to start and burn out of control. But residents can do their part and take simple steps today to lessen the risk of damage if a wildfire occurs."

To minimize the risk of filing a homeowner or businessowners insurance claim, NFPA recommends clearing leaves and debris away from overhanging eaves and decks, as this will help prevent embers that may be in the area from igniting the structure. In addition, keep lawns maintained and properly hydrated, as dry grass may serve as the fuel a wildfire needs to spread quickly.

Finally, if property owners plan on planting a garden, NFPA advises keeping these beds between 30 and 100 feet away from the home or building, as this decreases the risk flames will affect the structure. For more information and tips on wildfire safety, click here.

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