Fire Preparedness

How to Make Your Home Fire Safe


Design and Construction

  • Use ignition resistant construction for roofs/roof assemblies, gutters, vents, exterior walls assemblies, and exterior windows.
  • Consider installing residential sprinklers.
  • Install a fire resistant roof.
  • Remove dead leaves and needles from your roof and gutters.


  • Make sure that your street name sign is visibly posted at each street intersection. Post your house address so it is easily visible from the street, especially at night.
  • If possible provide adequate ingress/egress routes for large fire vehicles. If this is not possible try to provide a place along the road for vehicles to park and not block traffic.
  • Clear flammable vegetation at least 10 feet from roads and five feet from driveways.
  • If a ladder is available place it in an easily accessible area for fire fighters to use to aid in protection.


  • Create a defensible space of around 100 feet around your home. Create a "lean, clean and green zone" by removing all flammable vegetation within 30 feet immediately surrounding your home.
  • Remove low tree branches at least six feet from the ground.
  • Create horizontal and vertical spacing between plants. The amount of space will depend on how steep your property is and the size of your plants.
  • When clearing vegetation, use care when operating equipment such as lawnmowers. One small spark may start a fire; a string trimmer is much safer.
  • Above ground Liquefied Petroleum Gas containers should be thoroughly cleared of all vegetation and preferably be placed a minimum of ten feet away from any structure.

Water Supply

  • Create easy fire fighter access to water spigots and pre-connected hose.


  • Insure that when you leave your home all of your doors and windows are closed to prevent hot embers from entering.
  • Keep window curtains and blinds open to prevent radiant heat from a fire front from catching them on fire.
  • Store the ashes from your fireplace (and barbecue) in a metal container and dispose of only when cold.
  • Clean fireplace chimneys and flues at least once a year and ensure there is a spark arrestor in place.
  • Have tools such as a shovel, hoe, rake and bucket available for use in a wildfire emergency.
  • Develop a plan and be ready to evacuate all family members and pets when requested to do so.

Last updated: February 28, 2015

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Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 52
Hawaii National Park, HI 96718


(808) 985-6000

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