There are improvements you can make to make your home more fire resistant!
Construction materials and the quality of the defensible space surrounding the structure are what increases the chance of survival in a wildland fire. Embers from a wildland fire will find the weak spot in your home’s fire protection scheme and can easily catch because of small, overlooked, or seemingly inconsequential factors. Below are some measures you can take to safeguard your home.
Roofs are the most vulnerable surface where embers land because they become lodged and can start a fire. Roof valleys, open ends of barrel tiles, and rain gutters are all points of entry. Block off all open spaces, and regularly inspect these areas.
Embers can gather under open eaves and ignite combustible material. Enclose your eaves to prevent ember intrusion, and regularly clear away debris that collects here.
Embers can enter the attic or other concealed spaces and ignite combustible materials. Vents in eaves and cornices are particularly vulnerable, as are any unscreened vents. Use corrosion resistant metal mesh to screen all vents, and check them regularly to remove any debris that collects in front of the screen.
WALLS and FENCING
Combustible siding or other combustible/overlapping materials provide surfaces and crevices for embers to nestle and ignite. Build or remodel with noncombustible or ignition-resistant materials wherever possible, regularly clear away debris from any crevices, and perform annual upkeep.
WINDOWS and DOORS
Embers can enter gaps in doors, including garage doors. Install weather proofing around your garage door, and if your garage is attached to your home make sure the interior door is solid and on self-closing hinges.
Plants or combustible storage near windows can be ignited from embers and generate heat that can break windows and/or melt combustible frames. Wherever possible, use dual-paned windows with tempered glass, as they are less likely to shatter from radiant heat.
BALCONIES and DECKS
Construct your balconies or decks with noncombustible materials, and do not store combustible items underneath them. If there is a fire threat, bring any furniture into your home. Embers can collect in or on combustible surfaces, or beneath decks and balconies, igniting the material and entering the home through walls or windows.