With wildfires raging out west and along the west coast homeowners can find some comfort in knowing there are steps you can take to protect your home from becoming a target.
The past few years have seen record-breaking wildfire destruction. Most homeowners would never imagine their home ending up in the path of an out of control fire and because it seems so far-fetched, they likely won’t take the cautionary steps they can to protect their home.
The first step homeowners can take to protect their property is clearing it of combustible debris. This includes dead brush, fallen leaves and firewood. Swap your bushes out for low-growing flowers and instead of using combustible mulches like bark and wood, use gravel and rocks.
Second, keep your yard free of combustible clutter, old dilapidated wooden sheds and trash. All of these can catch fire and spread it closer to your home.
In addition to choosing non-combustible landscaping, keep your trees trimmed and free of dead limbs. Create a 10-15 foot distance between your trees. This keeps fire from quickly spreading from one tree to another. Also, keeping their lowest branches pruned will make it harder for flames to reach up the tree to its branches.
If you’re looking to remodel your home consider using fireproof materials for your exterior. For example: replace your existing roof with fire-rated roofing. In addition to adding a fire resistant roof you can also keep it clean of debris. Keep your gutters clean and don’t let leaves and pine needles build up anywhere on your roof. A small ember landing on the top of your roof is enough to start a fire if it has something to ignite.
Start your fireproofing by taking a walk around your property. Anything that can catch fire and help it spread should be removed or replaced with a fire-resistant alternative. Nothing is truly fire-proof, but fire-resistant can make a big difference.