In the event of a wildfire in your area, firefighters may need to reach your home. If firefighters can not safely access your home, they will find an alternative way to reach you that may take longer – and when fighting a fire, every second counts.
Help firefighters reach you
You are the first line of defense when it comes to helping your home survive a wildfire. To enable firefighters and other emergency vehicles to locate and reach your home quickly, it is important to establish a safe route with adequate access to the driveway.
Follow these guidelines to prepare your driveway for emergency access that could make the difference in reducing damage to your property during a wildfire or other emergency.
- Position your address sign so that it is visible from the road from any direction and cut vegetation around the sign.
- Make sure street signs are clearly visible with road names at intersections leading to your home.
- Clean trees, branches or brush from your driveway so that it is at least 12 feet wide with a vertical clearance of at least 13.5 feet to allow access to fire trucks.
- Make sure your driveway surface is tightly packed and can carry the weight of emergency vehicles, even in the spring when the ground is soft.
- Remove gates, fence posts or other obstructions that may restrict access.
- Create a space at the end of your driveway with enough space for an emergency vehicle to turn around as soon as it reaches your home.
Visit the DNR’s Preparing Your Property website for additional information on how to protect your home and property from wildfires.
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