Mulch Fires are a Reality!
It’s spring time and we all like to get outdoors and do some sprucing up and spring cleaning! One thing you can keep in mind is fire safety around your home. Whether you are landscaping or having someone else do the work, plan ahead to prevent some dangerous conditions from happening.
First it is a good idea to keep vegetation cut down around the home at all times to prevent brush fires from reaching any structures. Typically the spring and fall seasons will produce dry conditions that may present fire spread conditions to exist. We see this particularly in the west coast states where numerous forest fires occur. These brush fires can occur due to many reasons from careless campers to power lines that cause sparks. This also applies to grass as well as trees close to the home. Pine and cedar trees may dry out and cause severe threat of spreading fire to your home.
Second if you have mulch around your home to spruce up flower beds, make sure that you use non-combustible mulch within 18 inches of your home such as stone or rock. This is especially true if you have a combustible siding on your home such as vinyl siding or wood shakes. Mulch can start on fire basically three ways that are most common.
- – Discarded smoking material is the most prevalent cause
- – Spontaneous combustion may occur in mulch over 6″ thick and the right conditions
- – Electrical shorts may ignite mulch in contact of heat from the short or exposed wiring
Keeping vegetation cut down and providing non-combustible covering within 18″ of structures will prevent most fires to the outside of homes, but it is also important to keep other sources of heat at least 3 feet away such as Smoking materials, BBQ grills, garbage cans and dumpsters, or flammable liquid storage. If you do have mulch around your yard, keep it moist by watering occasionally during dry conditions. We hope you have a fire safe year and enjoy the seasons!