With all residents of the US state of California worried about ‘wildfires’, fire protection is primarily on everyone’s mind right now. No home is totally fireproof. However, with the right precautions, one can help safeguard their home, belongings and family, in the event of a wildfire.
Making homes wildfire-resistant
Listed below are just a few ways to quickly increase a property’s resistance to fire damage:
- Install tempered glass, multi-pane windows and screens
- If the siding is combustible, install metal flashing wherever the deck and siding meet, as well as angle flashing at the edges of the roof
- Box in any eaves with open construction, such as areas where rafter tails can be seen
- Move piles of firewood at least 10 yards from the home
- Only use roofing materials with the highest fire rating (Class A)
- Clear debris and dust from attic vents and window screens
- Clear out gutters, roofs and all outdoor spaces to ensure they are free from twigs, leaves and other easily combustible materials
- Remove all dead vegetation from the lowest branches of tall trees and plants
House and property owners can consider creating ‘defensible space zones’ around their home
As an extra layer of precaution, house and property owners can consider creating ‘defensible space zones’ around their homes. They should think of each layer as an extra line of defense against encroaching wildfires and the subsequent damage caused.
Zone 0: Within 5 feet
The area right next to a house is the most vulnerable to fire damage and it is imperative that one should regularly maintain it for maximum fire safety by:
- Relocating or replacing combustible outdoor seating, tables and other furniture
- Replacing fiber or jute door mats
- Relocating or removing garbage, lumber, recycling containers, etc.
- Cleaning up fallen needles and leaves, especially during fire season
- Removing all tree limbs and vegetation
- Relocating firewood and lumber, especially those stored under overhangs and decks
- Only using non-combustible mulch, like gravel and stone
Zone 1: 5-30 feet
In the next zone of defense, home and property owners can aim to:
- Remove all dead grass, plants, leaves and pine needles from the roof, gutters and yard
- Maintain tree branches so that all branches have at least 10 feet between other trees
- Remove any branches that hang over the house and keep branches at least 10 feet away from the chimney
- Move all wood piles into the next zone (Zone 2) or at least move them 30 feet away from all structures
- Remove any vegetation near decks that could catch fire
Zone 2: 30-100 feet
The zone 2 extends at least 100 feet, but could be even larger, if necessary. In this defense zone, home and property owners should:
- Keep annual grass to a max height of four inches (preferably less)
- Remove pine needles, twigs, cones, bark, small branches and fallen leaves (if erosion is a concern, fallen material can be maintained up to 3 inches)
- Be sure to check with the local fire department as there may be additional ordinances in place that one needs to follow
The Extended Zone may even include space more than 100 feet away, if required by steep slopes, nearby vegetation conditions and/or the local fire department.
Keep homes safe with FireClear
Safe, effective and firefighter-approved fire retardant solution, FireClear is faster, easier and less messy than DIY applications. It can also help fireproof houses and properties with just one seasonal application.
Instead of searching for constant updates on ‘fires near me’, home and property owners can contact FireClear for a free prop and demonstration at their convenience.