Playing Defense Against Wildfire | SERVPRO® of Hershey/Swatara
Of the many potential dangers homeowners face, there may be none more frightening or disheartening than the thought of seeing one’s home destroyed by fire. While most home fires in our region are caused by other things, wildfires are more of a reality than you might expect.
And they are so hot and move so fast that it’s surprising that fire crews are ever able to contain them at all.
But there are ways to safeguard your home from wildfires, aside from the obvious but still overlooked method of simply being careful, which is by far the best method of prevention.
Let’s look at one of those ways: “defensible space.”
What Is Defensible Space?
It’s not a new NASA program. “Defensible space” is a zone of buffers with which you can surround your home, giving it a greater chance of surviving a wildfire outbreak. You can slow or stop the aggression of a fire with the right combination of thoughtful planting and pruning, hardscape made of concrete or gravel, and removal of dead trees and brush—a quick, favorite fuel for wildfire.
Think of defensible space as a way of using the land around you to choke out a fire as it draws close. If there’s nothing to feed the fire, it can’t keep spreading. It also gives firefighters their best chance of stopping a wildfire before it gets to your home.
Why Defensible Space Matters
You may consider wildfires a West Coast issue, but they can and do happen everywhere in the United States. In fact, there were over 59,000 wildfires across the country in 2020.
Even if we omit California’s 10,000+ fires, there were still almost 1,000 fires per state on average in 2020, and there were no states that were totally spared.
Even Pennsylvania is not immune—we suffered almost 1,500 wildfires and saw almost 3,000 acres of land burned last year alone. And don’t look now, but 2021 is on pace to top last year’s total—there have been 25% more fires this year than over the same period last year.
Anything that can be done to stop wildfires should be done, and defensible space is one more way you can safeguard your home.
If your home is damaged by fire of any sort, wild or not, SERVPRO is ready and able to repair the damage caused. Get in touch today to get the pros on your team.