When it comes to wildfires, 2021 has been quite a year. California is currently facing its biggest wildfire season in history. With the onset of global warming producing drier seasons, and today’s growing communities encroaching on the borders of wildlife areas in the Sierras and Santa Cruz mountains, it’s easy to see why. That’s why it’s more important than ever to prep your home for potential wildfires and fires in general.
To help you stay safer, here are 18 tips to help better protect your home during wildfire season. (Three of these tips were posted earlier on our social media, so make sure you also follow us there for great environmental information!)
Tip #1 – Keep your roof’s gutters, decks and patios clear of leaves. pine needles and debris.
Tip #2 – Check to see if your roof consists of Class A fire-rated roofing products such as shingles, metal, concrete, and clay tiles, which offer the best protection. Also, inspect shingles or roof tiles and replace or repair those that are loose or missing to prevent embers from getting through.
Tip #3 – Make sure to screen the roof and attic vents to prevent ember entry. Use 1/16-inch to 1/8-inch metal mesh. Do not use fiberglass or plastic mesh because they can melt and burn.
Tip #4 – Eaves should be boxed in (use a soffited-eave design) and protected with ignition-resistant or non-combustible materials.
Tip #5 – Check your sidings and windows because embers can collect in small nooks and crannies and ignite combustible materials. Make sure you use fire-resistant siding such as brick, fiber-cement, plaster, or stucco.
Tip #6 – Install dual-paned windows with one pane of tempered glass to reduce the chance of breakage in a fire. You can also install screens to prevent embers from entering the home.
Tip #7 – Make sure every floor and room in your house has working smoke detectors.
Tip #8 – Seal your garage door so that no embers can get in.
Tip #9 – Keep garbage cans and recycling bins at least 5 feet away from the house.
Tip #10 – Keep all flammable objects at least 30 feet away from the home. This includes lawn mowers, gas cans, wood piles and more.
Tip #11 – Make sure to trim any tree branches that are within 10 feet of the home.
Tip #12 – Keep lawns watered and mowed.
Tip #13 – Avoid combustible landscaping materials such as dry bark or mulch.
Tip #14 – Try to have multiple garden hoses that are long enough to reach all areas of your home and other structures on your property.
Tip #15 – If you have a pool or well, consider getting a pump.
Tip #16 – Make sure your address is clearly visible from the road.
Tip #17 – Buy a fire extinguisher.
Tip #18 – Make sure you have a first aid kit with enough supplies to help everyone in the family.