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. Foam-Fast™ equipment can allow you to Defend Your Defensible
Space™ before your local fire protection agency arrives, but only if you are
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...
Plan ahead early
up around your home and
Spark proof your home
Setup a water delivery system
Foam-Fast™ to your
water delivery system
Know when to get out
1. PLAN AHEAD
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.
doing some simple cleanup and adding a Foam-Fast™ Wildfire
Pre-Treatment Kit to each of your garden
hoses, you will have the beginnings of a basic plan of defense.
DEFENSIBLE SPACE AROUND YOUR
HOME AND PROPERTY
Fires are spread and fuelled by
flammable grasses, weeds, trees and bushes.
Cut down grass, clear
leaves and dead undergrowth within 30-50 feet
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
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
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
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-FAST™ TO YOUR
Foam-Fast™ increases the coverage of a limited water supply up to 5
breaks down the waters surface tension thereby improving waters penetration into porous surfaces and
slowing its evaporation. When applied to
the defensible space around your home, Foam-Fast™
can increase waters effectiveness 5x
can be implemented by a variety of methods including standard garden
hoses, hand pump backpacks, 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.
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 Foam-Fast™
can be used to
directly attack a fire, unless you have no other choice that is best left to
When possible, "Pre-treat then Retreat™"
Always have a evacuation plan in
mind and when in doubt, get out!
6. ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
For more information on
defensive space and what you can do to protect your home & family, check out
these related website links:
NOTE: If any of the above links do not work the providers server may
be temporarily down. 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. 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
Home Firefighting™, Defend Your Defensible Space®, Pretreat then Retreat™
are trademarks of or licensed by Western DataLynx Inc., USA..
Copyright © 2012
Western DataLynx Inc.