Protecting your home from fire danger can be a yearlong task
RAPID CITY, S.D. — One of the biggest steps homeowners can take towards protecting their home against fire danger is making sure the outside of the home is hardened – meaning the outside of the house is made with limited or no flammable materials.
But not all homes are constructed this way.
Some people will have the outside of their home hardened, but have a wooden deck – which can lead to problems, especially with pine trees or other flammable plants nearby.
Lieutenant Tim Weaver, Rapid City Fire Department, said, “Generally speaking if you can keep the pine needles under control in your gutters, on your deck, underneath your deck, inside corners where the siding touches the ground, those types of areas. If we can keep those clean and free debris then we greatly reduce the risk of the house catching on fire.”
Aside from the construction of your house, homeowners can take preventative measures by maintaining their yard and removing flammable materials.
“These smaller things with debris, pine needles, moving wood piles away from homes, those types of things are all things that land owners can do themselves and for free, and it greatly reduces the risk of the structure in a fire,” Weaver said.
Taking fire prevention measures all year long is recommended since officials say the Black Hills are always in fire season.
Lieutenant Weaver added, “We don’t generally hold snow cover in the winter time, so we have fires in January all the time. The Schroeder fire happened in March, so we can have a wild land fire anytime of the year.”
The Rapid City Fire Department has programs to help homeowners with fuel mitigation and most are eligible for a free risk assessment as well.