DEC: How to Protect Property from Wildfire Damage

As wildfires rage in Suffolk County, the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Rangers are advising homeowners in rural and suburban areas that lie alongside open and forested lands how they can take precautions to protect their homes from being damaged or destroyed in a wildfire.

Homeowners can take steps to reduce the risk of damage from wildfires before one ever occurs. When constructing, renovating, landscaping and maintaining the property around the home, consider the following wildfire risk reduction strategies:

Home Construction & Maintenance

  • Use non flammable materials for roof and exterior walls;
  • Use fire retardant finishes on exterior wood;
  • Use double paned or tempered glass in windows;
  • Enclose eaves, fascias, soffits, and vents;
  • Remove tree limbs from overhangs and attachments;
  • Keep gutters and roofs clean of twigs, leaves, and pine needles.

Landscaping (within 30 feet of your home & camp and their porches & decks)

  • Use fire resistant plants, landscaping materials, and accessories;
  • Keep area clear of all dead vegetation and other flammable debris;
  • Remove limbs on trees up to 10 ft. from ground;
  • Maintain space between trees;
  • Regularly mow, prune, and water lawns and gardens;
  • Do NOT place propane tanks under porches or decks, or directly against your home; and
  • Do NOT store firewood adjacent to your home April through September.

For additional information on protecting homes and/or camps from wildfires, contact a local DEC office or visit www.newyorkfirewise.org.