Keeping Greenery—and Residents—Safe

Residents expect to see thriving plants, shrubs, and flowers around their communities during the summer. They may be tending to gardens of their own, as well!


And although landscaping and gardening may not seem dangerous, hazards may exist if combustible material, like mulch, is used. (A spark from a grill falling onto dry mulch canstart a fire next to a building.)


The state of New Jersey, on the website, gives tips on preventing mulch fires, and new regulations on the use of mulch aim to keep residents safe. However, the regulations will not be in effect until 2025, and it seems that many to HOAs and condos will be exempt when they do.


It is still a good idea for communities to begin educating residents now on how to enjoy beautiful greenery while avoiding mulch fires. Here are some tips:

  • Ensure that electric devices, cord, and outlets—think decorative outdoor lights—are given clearance.
  • For areas close to a building, consider an alternative, such as decorative stone.
  • If it has not rained lately and a mulch bed is dry, be especially careful that sparks (from say, a cigarette or a barbeque) will not reach it.


Have questions about these regulations and how they might affect your community? Ask your property manager. They will get you the information you need.