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Keeping your home safe from wildfires

11:23 AM, Jan 23, 2013   |    comments
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A bipartisan proposal has been introduced in legislature to extend $2,500 in tax credits to homeowners who do mitigation work outside their homes. 

But is January too early to start mitigation around your home?

Vaughn Jones of the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control says it's a year round process. And recent drought conditions has fire emergency managers concerned about an early wildfire season.

One of the most important precautionary steps homeowners can do is maintain their yard. Clearing leaves and dead vegetation, trimming the lawn and pruning hedges and trees reduce the amount of fire hazards on a property. 

"[I suggest] zero-scaping around your home with rocks, gravel and non combustible materials. If you do have vegetation, you want to keep it green and watered throughout the year and mowed to a height of 6 inches or less," Jones said.

You should also pay special attention to your building materials to reduce the fire hazard risk. 

"Ideally we'd have fire resistant materials like stucco, metal, or tile. If you have to have wood you want good solid stuff with not a lot of holes or cracks in them," Jones said.

Homeowners can also protect their homes by screening in patios, covering attic vents and with wire mesh no larger than 1/8-inch to prevent sparks from entering the home.

For more information to protect your family and property visit www.ready.gov/wildfires.

Sign up for emergency alerts at www.coemergency.com.

Rose Heaphy contributed to this article.

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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