Posts Tagged fire prevention

Autumn-time To Dos

Happy first day of fall!  The temperatures certainly doesn’t seem to know it’s autumn yet, but there are still things you can do to prepare for fall weather.

– Remove anything dead from your yard.  This can be a big task if you have a large yard, but removing dead leaves, dead plants, and dead limbs from your yard you are helping your plants and you are helping fire fighters with their task in fire prevention.

– Keep your plants watered and healthy.  Watering your plants consistently, as well as mulching them will help keep your plants happy during this hot time and can keep your soil healthy.

– As soon as it gets cool, make sure to plant any trees or bushes, as well as transplant anything you need to move.

– Get your lawn furniture ready for storage, or get them stored if you are done with them.

– Change out any bulbs for your outdoor lighting for those early nights.  If you don’t have outdoor lighting, get some installed.  It’s helpful for early autumn nights, and for days like Halloween when others will likely use your walkways and steps.

– If you enjoy being outdoors, try getting a permanent covering installed over your patio area.  Another idea is to get any outdoor space you have enclosed in glass so you can beat the heat in summer and stay warm in winter.

– Last, but not least, plan your yard out and see if there are any changes or plants which will make your life enjoyable.



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Fire Prevention

It’s about that time of the year again, when the hot Santa Ana winds sweep down, some kid throws a careless cigarette into a pile of dried out weeds and fire interrupts our lives .  I explained to a friend from Oregon once that in Southern California we have three seasons, Flash Flood, Summer and Fire.  Last year demonstrated my point perfectly, with part of the Los Angeles National Forest decimated by wildfire.  The year before, fire swept through Malibu and a year before that, San Diego was hard hit with fire.  Already this year, there was a fire in Griffith Park – an area recovering from a fire set just a couple of years ago.

So, enough said about the ravages fire can cause in our Southern California dry season.  What steps can you take to protect your landscape and home from fire?

1. Make sure all plants are pruned back and dead ones are pulled out.  Don’t let those dead, dried up husks just lay around.  Get out there and yank out any plants which were under watered or are annuals and are just dead due to their regular life cycle.  Same goes for plants with dried, dead leaves or branches.  Prune those back.

2. Keep up regular watering.  I’m sure you have a watering system in place.  If so, keep that up.  If you’ve been letting your lawn do a rolling brown out, try reseeding – either dyi style or by hiring a landscaper.  You can get insta-green lawns by buying sod, but that’s a much bigger project for which you will definitely need professional landscaping help.

3. Turn your compost regularly.  It hasn’t been too hot, but that sun is still glaring down at us and heats the ground and your compost.   The inside of those piles get extremely hot from both the heat and from the bacteria breaking down the vegetation in your mulch pile.  Make sure to turn that pile so the heat doesn’t build up too bad and so the wet, rotting stuff in the middle gets to dry out on the outside – and your dry stuff gets wet and rotting.

4. Keep your outdoor fire pit well maintained. Debris lying around your fire pit could catch fire and go out of control.  Even if it doesn’t go out of control, fire damages things quickly.  Unless you really really want to replace your back patio, you don’t want to have scorch marks all over the place.

5. Make sure your water features are clean and well-maintained.  Water features aren’t a fail safe for fire prevention, but they don’t help much if you need water quickly and they are weed choked.

6. If you have trees which drop leaves, rake those up consistently.  Same principle as cleaning out dead plants or pruning plants – you don’t want anything dry or dead lying around. 

7. Have an evacuation plan.  If the worst happens and your home is at risk, realize that your life and the life of those you love (your spouse, your children, your dog or cat) are more important than the things you own.  Make sure you have an evacuation plan in place – including a friend or relative in a completely different location who you can move in with temporarily.  Evacuation staging points are fine, but it’s nicer to be around those you love when the things you own are threatened.

So, here’s hoping you have a fire-free fall!

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