Forming a Fire-Management Plan

Trooper Tom shares information on forming a fire-management plan for homeowners who may be faced with combating a wildfire on their property.

| September/October 1987

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    Your last defense will be a burned-back line that the fire can't cross.
    ILLUSTRATION: DON OSBY

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Prepare your home and property with a fire-management plan and you can stop a wildfire cold!  

Forming a Fire-Management Plan

According to the National Fire Protection Association, there were 83,000 wildfires in 1985, and they burned roughly 3 million acres. Those fires destroyed 1,400 structures and killed 44 people. Sadly, proper planning could have prevented most of the devastation. The following plan will help you stop a dragon before it ever gets started.

First Your Home

Start your dragon-proofing by securing your home against fires that start in it or nearby. The prime breeding ground for large reptiles in your home is the woodstove. Installation standards are readily available, and you should observe them. There do seem to be a few areas where people often foul up, though. Heat shields for walls should have a one-inch air space behind them. Without air space, they don't shield much.

Stovepipe can also be confusing. Once you make a wall or ceiling pass with insulated pipe, stick with it. If you revert to the singlewall material, you'll have creosote condensation problems. A lot of people are using stainless steel stovepipe now, rather than the cheaper black steel or galvanized stuff. It lasts much longer and won't surprise you by burning through.



Be sure you have working smoke detectors installed at the locations recommended on the packages. A combination ionization-photoelectric detector gives the best all-around protection from all sorts of fires.

Check your electrical panel boxes twice a year. Be sure that all the wires are tight and that the connections to breakers and the ground and neutral bars are coated with a light layer of grease. Looseness and corrosion will cause arcing, sparks and perhaps a fire. If you have an appliance that keeps throwing a breaker or lights that dim at times, make sure that the circuits are correctly designed and that everything's right in the panel.



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