We love our mountains and forests, but Colorado ranks third in the US for number of properties at high or extreme risk for wildfire. Prepare your home, family, and pets.
• Develop a fire evacuation plan and practice family fire drills. Ensure that all family members are aware of two or more escape routes from the neighborhood and meeting points. Be certain to designate someone to evacuate your pets and/or livestock.
• Contact the sheriff’s office to ensure that your telephone numbers appear in the county reverse 911 database.
• Prepare a “grab-n-go” kit that will last three days, containing cash, water, clothing, food, first aid and prescription medicines for your family and animals.
• Ensure that you have a hose (long enough to reach all parts of your house) with nozzle available near your outdoor water source for responding firefighters.
• Maintain your smoke alarms and fire extinguishers.
• Do annual insurance policy checkups with your agent to keep up with local building costs, home remodeling and inventories of personal belongings. Photos and videos offer easy ways to document your possessions. Keep a copy in your safe deposit box. RPM offers this service at no cost to our customers.
Defensible space and structural material choices give your home a fighting chance against the embers generated by an approaching wildfire. Defensible space requires initial efforts and ongoing maintenance to be effective. Your home’s defensible space is divided into three zones: 30 ft, 100 ft and 200+ ft with ever-changing trees, grasses and shrubs.
Some examples of initial projects are: thin and prune trees, dispose of this slash, stack firewood uphill and at least 30 feet from your home, screen attic, roof, eaves and foundation vents—periodically check their condition. Also, screen or wall-in stilt foundations and decks, post signs with your last name and house number at the end of your driveway, and trim tree branches to ensure fire equipment may gain access. Check with csfs.colostate.edu for information specific to fire responder access.
Annually, clear your roof and gutters of needles and debris. Trim grasses and weeds to six inches or less, rake pine needles away from the house foundation. Remove this debris from your property. Replace or repair roof shingles/tiles to reduce ember intrusions. Cut branches that overhang the roof and chimney and remove from your property. Watch for local fire department slash days for disposal.
Maintenance and fire-resistant materials are key. Your siding, decking, ground materials, windows, screens, eaves and landscaping work in concert to provide ignition resistance.
For more information contact Michele at 720.683.0010 or .