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You Need Defensible Space

Homes with defensible space have a much greater chance of surviving a wildfire than homes without.  Fire Safe San Mateo encourages you to give your house a fighting chance during a potential wildfire by establishing defensible space around your home.  Defensible space breaks up the continuous path of plants that could carry wildfire to your home. And it gives firefighters a safe zone from which to fight a wildfire.  It’s worth your effort.

Defensible Space: You Can Do It

Remove or reduce flammable vegetation around all structures. State law and local fire codes requires a minimum of 100 feet of clearance, but check with your insurance agent to see if your carrier requires more. For more information about state law, contact your local fire department.

  • Trim trees so branches are six feet from the ground and 10 feet from your chimney. Remove branches overhanging your roof.
  • Call your utility company for help with trees near power lines. Never trim these yourself.
  • Remove any dead trees.
  • Cut weeds and dead grasses six inches or shorter.
  • Always work early in the morning and make sure your power tools have spark arresters to prevent equipment-caused fires.
  • Ask your local nursery about landscaping with beautiful, fire-resistant plants.
  • Maintain defensible space by cleaning up plant litter and watering properly.

Need help? Contact Fire Safe San Mateo to learn about our chipping, home consultations and other programs that can help you become fire safe.

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