Program Offers Tips To Keep Your Home Safe From Forest Fires


October 1st begins forest fire season which destroys acres of land every year. The Department of Forestry has begun a program that can help you protect your home from a forest fire.

Smoke detectors go inside your home to protect it from a fire, but how do you protect the outside of your home from fire? The Firewise program is designed to help you keep your family and home safe from the outside in.

"If the homeowner has taken some precautions around the home to reduce the risk, then they stand a better chance of saving their home if they get a wild fire in the woods around their home," said Firewise Coordinator Cindy Bennett.

Bennett travels around the state informing homeowners about possible dangers surrounding their home.

"These shrubberies, I never thought that them being that close to the house was dangerous," said Linda Crase.

Bennett says one of the most important things is to have your house number visible on your home and the mailbox.

"So especially at night, the fire department can see the address on the home," Bennett said.

The Firewise program teaches you fire moves 16 times faster up a slope and in some cases can move up to 60 miles per hour.

"If you get a wildfire, you have a lot of embers in the air and those embers can land in that debris," Bennett said.

Which is exactly why Bennett says to keep your gutters clean and put a screen under porches so leaves can not gather there.

"If you have a wood deck connected to your home, your home can be gone in a matter of minutes," she said.

Bennett says to rake leaves and keep debris at least 30 feet away to help protect your home from a forest fire.

Kentucky's forest fire season will last until December.

For more information on the Firewise program, you can visit their website at http://www.forestry.ky.gov/programs/firewise/.


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