Q) What is Firewise?
A) Every year wildfires burn in the UK and more people live where wildfires are a risk. By working together, residents can make their own property and their neighbourhood safer from the risk of wildfires. Firewise Communities is an international programme which empowers neighbours and communities, encouraging community spirit, resolve and willingness to take responsibility and work together to reduce their risk from wildfire. Firewise encourages communities and home owners to take individual responsibility for preparing their homes from the risk of wildfire.
Q) What causes wildfires?
A) A lot of heath, grass and forest fires are caused by people. While a small proportion are deliberately set, most human-caused fires are accidental and related to careless disposal of cigarettes, ash or barbecue embers etc.
Q) Is my home really in danger?
A) The term wildfire can be misleading but, with the right conditions, an ignition source – cigarette, spark from machinery, barbecue embers – could take hold and your home could be in the path of fire and/or smoke much faster than you may think. When it comes to wildfire risk, it is not geographical location but a set of conditions that determine your home’s ignition potential in a community.
Fuel is the one area that Firewise can influence. Homeowners can and must take primary responsibility for fire safety action around the home.
Q) Don’t the fire service deal with wildfires?
A) The fire and rescue service are the first responders and always deal with fires. However, heath, grass or forest fires pose special challenges. You can make some small, inexpensive changes to your home and garden which will reduce the risk should your home be threatened by wildfire. There is more information on how to make your home more resilient to wildfires here on these web pages.
Q) I want to be Firewise but how do I get my neighbours to join me?
A) Just ask them! Explain what Firewise is and where they can find out more information. Explain the criteria and benefits and what will be expected. More information can be found in these web pages.
Q) Will being Firewise compromise my garden or the local eco system?
A) The inexpensive changes that you make to your garden will clear out any dry or dead vegetation, allowing space between planting and buildings. Disposing of any cuttings responsibly will help the ecology beyond your garden to thrive. For more information on how to make your garden more resilient to wildfire, please visit our ‘How to Prepare’ page.
Q) We have just had a wildfire close by. Isn’t it too late?
A) No. It’s never too late. Even if you have recently had a fire nearby, the recovery phase is a great time to work with your neighbours to ensure that you make the changes that will reduce your risk from wildfire in the future. Everybody has a part to play in reducing risk to ourselves and others.