IBHS, the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety published this excellent list of the “Top 10 Ways to Protect Your Property from ;Wildfire.” At Fire Safe Marin, we agree – take action on these ten items and your home, and community, stand a chance. In fact, the National Fire Protection Association found that homes with a fire-resistant roof (#4) and 30 feet of defensible space (#10) have an 80 percent chance of surviving a wildfire.
(In no particular order)
1. Maintain Defensible Space (0 to 5 feet)
Use noncombustible materials such as gravel, brick, or concrete in this critical area adjacent to your home.
2. Reduce Siding Risks
Maintain 6-inch ground-to-siding clearance, and consider noncombustible siding.
3. Clean Debris from Roof
Regularly clear your roof of all leaf litter
4. Use a Class A Roof Covering
Class A fire-rated roofing products offer the best protection for homes.
5. Clean Out Gutters Regularly
Keep debris out of gutters since debris can be ignited by wind-blown embers. If used, gutter covers should be noncombustible.
6. Reduce Fence Risks
Burning fencing can generate embers and cause direct flame contact to your home. Use noncombustible fences and gates.
7. Keep Embers out of Eaves and Vents
Use 1/8-inch mesh to cover vents, and box-in open eaves to create a soffited eave.
8. Protect Windows
Use multi-pane, tempered glass windows, and close them when a wildfire threatens.
9. Reduce Deck Risks
At a minimum, use deck boards that comply with California requirements for new construction in wildfire-prone areas, remove combustibles under deck, and maintain effective defensible space.
10. Maintain Defensible Space (5 to 30 feet)
Remove shrubs under trees, prune branches that overhang your roof, thin trees, and remove dead vegetation. Move trailers, RVs, and storage sheds from area, or build defensible space around these items.