Sustainable Landscaping: Fire-Safe Landscaping In California

firesafe landscaping

There are many different aspects to take into consideration when beginning a sustainable landscape project. So far we have covered sustainable landscaping in general and sustainable irrigation, but now we want to focus on an aspect of concern for properties in California – fire-safe landscaping.

Planning a fire-safe sustainable landscape is a necessity in California. As a Property Manager or Maintenance Supervisor you are responsible for helping to lower cost and increase profit from your property. But what measures have you taken to protect your building?

For Fire-Safe Landscaping, Plan Out Defensible Space

By creating an area around your building that does not provide fuel in the form of materials or vegetation that will only worsen the fire, you can help protect your building and give firefighters space to fight the blaze. Here are some steps to create the most effective defensible space.  (Obviously no one can predict what path a fire will take.  But with proper planning you give your building a better chance to avoid the fire, and stop the spread should a fire begin to run through your property’s grounds.)

1.    Choose Fire-Resistant Vegetation

To create the most effective defensible space make sure to start by choosing the right vegetation to put in your landscape. You can find plants that don’t store any of the dead or dry leaves inside of them creating an easy fuel source.

2.    Regular Maintenance

One of the largest forms of fuel source during a fire can be vegetation that has dried up, died and been left in what should be the defensible space. Keeping maintenance consistent and choosing vegetation that doesn’t store spent leaves is the best form of defense.

3.    Creating Space

When planning out the defensible space you want to trim or thin out trees that are within 30 feet of your building. Anything beyond 30 feet must not be dead or dry vegetation. The U.S. Fire Administration also recommends not allowing small trees or plants under larger trees as this can cause a fire to jump into tree crowns.

By taking advantage of these three steps you can help protect your property in the event of a fire.  Implementing fire-safe landscaping will reduce the risk of fire spreading through multiple units, or jumping from landscaping to a building.

Going Green with Sustainable Landscaping

Now that we have covered several different aspects of sustainable landscaping you have the tools you need to begin a green building project on your property. If you would like to speak to someone regarding a green renovation project, or your next LEED Certification project, you can contact us at 714.744.1106, or keep up with the latest on the blog to learn more in our Going Green series.

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