Keeping Safe from Wildfires
As Florida’s population increases each year more and more people are moving into areas that we call the wildland / urban interface. These areas are located in more remote locations and locations that have increased vegetation. When homes are built in these areas residents must take precautions to ensure safety from wildfires.
Most Fire Departments are not able to protect every home when a wildfire threatens a community. This is why it is of the utmost importance that we take every precaution to prevent fires as well as be prepared incase a fire threatens our community. Making your home less susceptible from Wildfires
- Defendable space is one of the best lines of defense. Your home should have at least 30 feet of space that is clean of debris (leaves, wood piles, and dead plants). The defendable space should also have clean plants that are located with-in the 30 feet defendable space. Trees, plants and shrubs should all be trimmed especially with-in 15 feet of any chimney. All vegetation located in this 30 feet area should be green and fire resistant. For a list of fire resistant plants click on http://www.fl-dof.com/wildfire/firewise_landscaping.html. To allow adequate space for emergency apparatus driveways should be 12 feet wide and have a 15-foot vertical clearance.
- Design and construction of a home can have a dramatic influence during a wildfire.
- Roofs should be made of class A asphalt/fiberglass shingles, terra cotta tile, sheet metal, or concrete. These offer the best protection for your roof. Wood shake and wood shingle offer a great risk of igniting from a wildfire.
- Soffits should be constructed of a fire resistant material. If wood is used for construction of soffits it should have a thickness of at least ½ inches. If vinyl is used to cover your soffit it is recommended that a metal screening or hardware cloth be placed underneath the vinyl sheeting.
- Windows are critical areas that homeowners should review when a wildfire approaches. Heat from a large fire could break / crack large windows and allow heat and fire brands to enter the home. When designing a home keep in mind that smaller double-paned tempered glass are the most resistant. Remember to always remember keep windows shut / closed when a fire is in the area.
Illegal Burning in the City of Edgewater
General Safety Tips
- Prevention is the most valuable tool in preventing wildfires. In the City of Edgewater there is no burning of any type unless a burn permit has been obtained from the City. Burning of yard debris / waste is not permitted anytime in the City. Whenever you Bar-B-Q or cook outside always remember to dispose of the coals properly, never discard them into a wooded area.
- To report an illegal burn please call RCC Dispatch at (386) 424-2000 or if structures in danger call 911. If you want to report information about Arson please call the Arson Hotline at 1-800-342-5869.
- Do not discard cigarettes from moving vehicles - discard cigarettes in an approved container or ashtray.
- Ensure that all driveways and homes are clearly marked with name and address.
- Never operate ATV’s in high and dry grass or vegetation.
- Properly extinguish outdoor cooking fires and never leave a fire unattended.
- Ensure that all outdoor equipment (lawnmowers/tractors) have working spark arresters.
- Plan escape routes away from your home both by car and by foot.