Identify the actions or objects that increase safety for a house in a wooded area or those that represent a risk in the event of a forest fire.
1. Chimney fitted with a cowl and a damper.
2. House surrounded by a strip of land or terrace separating it from garden plants or the forest.
3. Firewood stored away from garden plants.
4. Trees and bushes should be set back from the building.
5. Check generators and electrical wiring because they can be the cause of a fire.
6. Do not use barbecues in wooded areas during the high-risk season*. Similarly, extreme precautions should be taken throughout the rest of the year because fires can start at any time.
7. Do not place easily flammable objects or materials right next to the house, such as firewood, fuel tanks, garden furniture, candles or parasols, etc.
8. Create a low plant density area around the house (approx. 30 metres).
9. Avoid burning any garden cuttings; they can be used to make compost instead. If burning is necessary, you must obtain authorisation.
10. The gateway should be at least 2.5 metres wide, enabling a fire engine to gain access. If the gate is automatic, it should be left open in the event of a fire.
11. Dry stone walls can be used to stop a low intensity surface fire.
12. Swimming pool water can help defend the house.
13. The access road to the house should be cleared at least 10 metres on both sides. There should also be enough room for a fire engine to turn when it gets to the house.
14. Fire break. These are achieved by pruning, brush clearing and selective felling of vegetation in order to break up the forest structure and open clearings that increase safety for the house.
15. Avoid careless behaviour, such as dropping cigarette ends in the forest, using fireworks and using fireplaces or barbecues.
16. Be aware of the rules on using fire, request permits if necessary and apply good practice and common sense when using fire.
17. The trees overhanging the roof and the presence of dead leaves and branches on the ground jeopardise the safety of the house.
18. The tree branches touching the windows and other objects around the house could spread the fire.
19. The plants used as barriers in the garden (cypress tree, white cedar, etc.) can also spread fire.
20. The lack of space between vegetation in the forest and the house itself guarantees that fire will spread onto the property.
21. Placing easily flammable objects or materials right next to the house, such as awnings, fuel tanks, piles of firewood, etc., is not safe.
22. Any vehicles parked in a wooded area are in danger when the flames arrive.
23. The chimney has no protection and a small opening.
24. Evacuation along narrow driveways surrounded by a lot of vegetation (fuel) is very dangerous. If there is not enough room for a fire engine to turn when it gets to the house, this jeopardises fire-fighter safety.
25. Mediterranean forests are dense and their vegetation is structured in several layers: herbs, shrubs, vines and trees. Vegetation density and vertical structure is a major factor in the spread of forest fires.