As we move into the dry season, Clay County Fire Chief Kevin Mobley asked the Lake Region public to review homes and surrounding lots with an eye toward fire safety.

The top three causes of wildfires in Florida are debris- burning gone awry, lightning, and arson.
The top ten fire safety "commandments" are:
1. Post address numbers on your home or whereever your driveway meets a connecting road. If there is a lengthy off-road drive with branching paths leading to your house, make the directions to your home clear. You may know where you live but emergency personnel may not. Numbers should be six inches high and visible by day or night. Mailbox numbers are not sufficient.
2. Clean leaves, pine straw and limbs away from your roof. Keep gutters cleaned.
3. Lawn chairs, disabled cars, firewood, trash cans, building supplies and other materials should not be stored around your home. Keep such items at least 30 feet from all structures.
4. Mow and trim weeds and grass around items that might catch fire, such as farm implements, cars, barns or other buildings. Prune trees and shrubs and dispose of clippings away from your home.
5. Use fire resistant mulching, such as rocks or stones around plants and flower beds abutting your home.
6. Provide metal skirting around decks, mobile homes and elevated areas of a house to prevent embers or fire from continuing to burn underneath. When possible, build or buy homes with fire resistent materials.
7. Landscape with less flammable shrubs and trees.
8 Use sprinklers or irrigation systems to protect the area around your home.
9. Clear all low hanging limbs, brush and trees that might obstruct fire trucks trying to get to your burning home. Drive ways should be at least 12 feet wide with 15 feet of vertical clearance.
10. Always follow Florida Forestry's burn regulations when lighting fires in and around your yard or other areas.
Detailed information is available by calling the Keystone Heights Fire Department at (352) 473-3630. You may also go online to www.firewise.org, or www.flash.org