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San Diego

Don’t Let Mulch Start A Fire At Your Home

Posted by San Diego Landscaper on Wednesday, 30 August , 2017

In mid-July, a fire caused by a discarded cigarette thrown into a mulch bed led to a nursing facility having to be evacuated. Also in July, a fire that began in mulch destroyed a townhouse unit.

These are not isolated incidents. In fact, the most notable fire caused by mulch occurred in 2015 when a man died in a blaze that was begun by smoking materials left in a mulch bed.

In this issue, we’ll talk more about how fires can begin in mulch, and share tips for how to reduce the odds of it happening to you.

How do fires begin in mulch?

Most mulches are made of organic material, and are always decomposing and drying out – making it very flammable, in many cases. When it’s piled deep, dangerous heat can build up. Fires originating in mulch are more likely to occur when the weather is hot and dry for an extended period of time.

How can I prevent a mulch fire from starting at my house?

There are actually quite a few proactive steps you can take to make sure your home is safer.

  • Don’t pile it too deep – the ideal thickness for mulch is between 2-4 inches.
  • Provide a clearance of at least 18-inches between the mulch and any building.
  • When watering your plants, water your mulch as well.
  • If you smoke, make sure you dispose of smoking materials the right way; never toss cigarette butts or matches into mulch or potted plants.
  • Use noncombustible mulch (rock, pea gravel, etc.) around combustible parts of your house, like the gas meter.
  • Use only the manufacturer’s recommendations for wattage in your yard lights.

How to Apply Mulch

You should feel free to mulch just about anywhere in your yard. All of your flowerbeds, trees and gardens can benefit equally from mulching. Here are a few good mulching guidelines to follow:

  1. Get rid of the weeds before mulching – if you don’t, they’re going to be peeking through the mulch in no time
  2. A mulch bed of three-to-four inches deep will work just fine around trees, and in flowerbeds and gardens
  3. Once the mulch is installed around trees and shrubs, pull it back just a bit to create a sort of donut-hole. If the mulch is piled against the trunk, trapped moisture can trigger disease and decay
  4. For trees, we recommend extending the mulch bed so that it covers about a four or five-foot diameter around the trunk

Call Juniper Landscape Company in San Diego!

We would love to help you out with your mulching needs. If you’d like for us to suggest which mulch would look best in your yard or if you’d like for us to spread it out for you, just give us a call!

Our number is (619) 334-9464.

Juniper Landscape Company is a provider of professional landscaping services in San Diego, we strive to make San Diego a beautiful place by doing business with integrity and creativity.


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