Each year, wildfires destroy hundreds of homes and acreage.
When a wildfire does strike, it can occur with little warning and spread
quickly. Fire crews and equipment can be overwhelmed by the task of fighting a
rapidly advancing wildfire. There simply may not be enough personnel and
equipment to defend every home.
Falling embers and brands, sometimes from miles away, presents one of the greatest dangers in
a wildfire situation. A single hot ember could make your home or property a
secondary incident, with fire department resources already devoted to fighting
the main fire miles away. Our systems can help you to Defend Your Defensible
Space® before your local fire protection agency arrives, but only if you are prepared.
Being prepared can give you the edge in making your home a
"winner" instead of a "loser" with both lives and property being saved if you take a few simple precautions...
1. PLAN AHEAD EARLY
Don't wait until the fire season has started. Precautions should be taken before
summer to help save your home, even if fire comes while you are away. A
well prepared home has a better chance of being saved than an unprepared one.
Even by doing some simple cleanup and adding a
foaming kit to each of your garden hoses, you will have the beginnings of a basic plan of defense.
2. CREATE DEFENSIBLE SPACE
Fires are spread and fuelled by flammable grasses, weeds, trees and bushes.
Cut down grass, clear
leaves and dead undergrowth within 30-50 feet of buildings
Clear all dry grass
and bark well back from the walls
Space trees so that
there is NOT a continuous canopy from brushland to house
Remove tree limbs
which overhang the roof or decks.
All nearby trees
should have lower branches pruned away to provide a vertical
firebreak which will prevent the ground fire spreading into them
Keep gutters clear of leaves & twigs and screen with
metal gutter guards.
3. SPARK PROOF YOUR HOME
Many houses lost in wildfires have caught fire ON THE INSIDE, caused by
burning debris or sparks blown through uncovered openings - windows,
doors, eaves, the roof space or under the house. This is a very
important point. Your home - and your family - have a much better
chance of surviving a bushfire if the house is spark proof.
all exterior wood surface with intumescant paint or other fire rated
Install metal mesh or solid screens will seal windows, doors, ventilators and
Eaves and under-floor
areas should be boxed in or screened over
attention to gaps in the roof area, along the ridge cap and facia.
4. SET UP A WATER SUPPLY AND DELIVERY SYSTEM
It is essential to make provision for an adequate water supply for
firefighting. You cannot rely on public water mains or electricity
during a wildfire. Your water supply and delivery system should be
totally independent of utilities which, in the event of an emergency,
may be inadequate or non-existent. (Remember the Oakland Hills fire in the SF Bay Area?)
Tanks, dams and swimming pools can provide
necessary reserves provided you have the proper pump and enough hose to reach
all areas to be protected. Ideally the system should provide
coverage to the entire house as well as the defensible space around it.
The delivery system should provide a MINIMUM 100 PSI nozzle pressure
AT THE RATED FLOW OF THE NOZZLE YOU WILL BE USING. This provides compatibility with and proper operation of standard
firefighting nozzles and foam equipment. Remember to take into account friction losses through long hose runs too!
IMPORTANT NOTE ON PUMPS: Do
not be misled by some pump dealers who claim high flow rates and pressures but
don't provide a pump curve. Ask to see a pump curve before you buy and insist on
100+ psi at your desired operating flow!
In addition, your delivery system
should be easy to use. Reading a manual is the last thing you want to be
doing in the middle of a fire event!
Your water supply and delivery system should also be clearly labeled and
designed to provide easy access for your local fire
agency. Check with your local fire department for recommendations on
making your equipment readily accessible.
Also, be sure to test your equipment at
least annually to ensure proper operation, to account for all
supplies and to make sure it is working as designed. Gasoline engines need their oil and gas replaced no less
than once a season. The last thing you want to be doing during a fire is
servicing your pumps engine!
NOTE: The NFPA has a formula for calculating the amount of water required to protect a specific structure. (Ref: NFPA 1142,
Standard on Water Supplies for Suburban and Rural Fire Fighting, 1999 Edition)
5. ADD FOAM OR GEL TO YOUR DELIVERY SYSTEM
Foam concentrates can increase the coverage of a limited water supply up
to 5 times! Foam breaks down the waters surface tension thereby improving waters penetration into porous surfaces and
slowing its evaporation. In addition, the bubbles created act as an insulating barrier and
help reflect infrared heat away from protected surfaces. When applied to
the defensible space around your home, foam can increase waters effectiveness 5x
We offer a variety of foaming kits allowing the addition of foam to everything
from a standard garden hose to portable pumps or whole house hydrant systems.
6. KNOW WHEN TO GET OUT
Your property can be replaced but not your life or the life of a loved one.
The equipment we sell can provide a extra level of protection against the threat
of a wildfire. However, no matter what steps you take there is no
guarantee that you can protect your property. Although this equipment can
be used to directly attack a fire, unless you have no other choice that is best
left to professional firefighters.
Always have a evacuation plan in mind and when in doubt, get out!
6. ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
To view a comprehensive video on preparing & pre-treating your property
during a wildfire and conserving your water supply, click on the link below...
For more information on defensive space and what you can do to protect your home & family, check out
these related website links:
NOTE: The information contained on this page
has been compiled from a variety of sources. No guarantee is
made as to the accuracy of any of the information and the views
expressed are offered only as general information with no guarantee as
to accuracy for a specific application. Information
contained on linked pages are those of the respective authors and
are not necessarily the opinions of Western DataLynx Inc, it's
employees or dealers. Firefighting is serious business and we
advise you to consult with your local fire agency for specific
recommendations regarding fire safety in and around your home and