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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

What is a Defensible Space /// East Honolulu

9/15/2021 (Permalink)

Defensible space was the buffer commercial and residential property owners didn’t know they needed! O’ahu is a small island, packed with choke people, choke places, and just choke things compared to other regions of the Hawaiian Isle. Because of this, when fires happen it is terrifying for the whole community, and is even more imperative to the safety of all organisms residing in your home. 

Defensible space is the buffer zone between the building, and natural terrain, as well as space in respect to properties. This space was curated by Americans who also deal with high volumes of fires, specifically in the Western regions of the United States. This zone enables safety procedures in a harmless, beneficial way for all walks of life to be safe whilst buildings are on fire. Time is of the essence when your home or property is on fire- as fire manifests and is deadly. There are certain symptoms of fire such as flames, extremely hot near and around the fire, or the embers that accrue from organic material burning. This organic material could be anything or everything on your property, there are very limited resources used to construct buildings that are flame retardant. This defensible space also gives the local authorities room to work with, that complies with safety standards they follow; which equally helps this method. 

This space is rooted in the idea of zoning your property, to levels of fire hazardous materials, as well as spacing of said materials. This zone is primarily dealing with the outside space of your property, as well as utilization of flora. The most important principle to keep in mind is flammability, consistently removing objects, or plants that can catch your property on fire is crucial for an accurate defensible space. 

Even when building/renovating your properties it is critical that you keep fires, water, and other natural disasters in check. Which comes from smart moves, and being overly prepared. 

There is technically a Zone Zero that is 0-5 feet away from your property; it is not frequently touched on but arguably the most important. This zone usually contains doors, openings, porches, decks, lounge areas… etc. Usual objects, tools, or location is one would find near a commercial or residential property. Plants in this zone should always be maintained, and hydrated likewise these plants should be relatively low to the ground. It is important to make sure that all dead organic materials, whether that is mulch, fallen leaves- must be immediately taken care of. One should also keep in mind removing combustible materials from this area, whether that is Cars, RVs, Boats, or fences that will explode in fires. Keeping those kinds of materials away will keep your family, residents, and workers safe in case of an emergency. Furthermore, maybe keeping trash, and recyclable materials away from this zone will also create a healthier environment, that means moving your trash bins at least 5 feet away from your property. 

Zone 1 is the most frequented zone and talked about, this zone is defined for its emptiness, as well as cleanliness. This zone is arguably an additional 25 more feet of zone 0. This zone virtually has the same principles but, there are more nuanced applications to Zone 0 such as combustible goods. Zone 1 asks its users to maintain healthy plants, with branches, twigs, within 5 feet of the home. Trees should be maintained, trimmed, as well as be well spaced between other combustible materials no closer than 10 feet. If there are piles of wood or other sources used to create contained fires put these materials in Zone 2. Equally so, ensure that the natural environment is not interacting with your purchased goods, swings should not be near trees. Making sure these two elements of your exterior are well maintained as well as not interacting heavily with one another. 

The final zone- Zone 2 is the area that is 30 feet to 100 feet away from the property line. This area does not have rigorous standards and regulations it hoists itself to. Rather this is the part of property that if you have the luxury of having needs to be just maintained. Ensuring there is no infringement of plants on each other is a good thing to keep in mind. This area of the exterior asks decorators to keep a radial of 10 feet of plants to be away from another. It also asks the grass to be kept 4 inches, and fallen debris 3 inches, altogether never over 10. As well as any wood pilings, these pilings should be not taller than 10 feet as well as resting on dirt with no plants near for 6 inches of the perimeter of the pilings.  

SERVPRO of East Honolulu is here to serve the community and kokua after disasters. Our job as well as the authorities are a lot easier if safety methodology is already in place. With the ever growing innovations of technology of today, we can only imagine how much safer our lives will continue to become. The Defensible Space method is a tool of prevention that any household or office can practice. Although this method may not be applicable to some of our community members of East Honolulu; there are important tips for outside agricultural practices to keep you and yours safe especially during natural disasters. And if disaster still strikes- as it tends to do- SERVPRO of East Honolulu boasts a team full of technicians who can help every step of the way, until your home looks… "Like it never even happened." Call us with any questions, comments, or concerns at (808) 395-9545 

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