Wildfires in Southern California are especially problematic in the summer and fall. Wildfires are particularly risky for homes located in the more rural areas. The issue is our dry hot weather during summer.
Wildfires have killed more people and destroy more property than a combination of all other natural disasters. For instance, in 2017 a wildfire ravaged 245,000 acres of land. It destroyed 8,000 buildings and killed 42 people in four counties of Northern California. Many factors contribute to the start of a wildfires. These include human negligence and natural causes (like lighting).
Wildfires are unpredictable. You should take precautions to protect your home and family in case you live near a mountain, grassland or a foothill populated with trees. So how do I protect my home from wildfires?
If you live in the wildfire-prone area, your first strategy is to have a wildfire approach site layout. Wildfires can emerge from any direction of your home. Therefore, consider having wide driveways that can allow heavy firefighting equipment to access your home. This applies mostly to houses built on an up-slope. Wildfires move fast up hills due to the downward air currents.
2. Install flame resistant roofs
Flammable roofs made of shake and wood shingles make your home especially vulnerable to wildfires. Embers from wildfires have been known to jump freeways and travel long distances to set a roof on fire. Consider installing a roof that is resistant to fire in order to protect your home from wildfires embers. The resistance of a roof to fire is rated from A to C and the most resistant is class A. Additionally, clear your roof and the roof gutters of any pine needles or tree leaves as they increase the chances of a roof fire. Photovoltaic panels can also be installed to protect your roof and act as an emergency source of power during wildfires.
3. Protect vents properly
Embers from wildfires can enter your home through openings on the roof, windows, and open doors. During the fire season, ensure your home outdoor vents are covered with 3mm hardware cloth. This will ensure that embers can’t enter your home. Our homes are full of flammable materials such as carpets and furniture. These have the potential to cause a fire in your home. The high temperatures that result from wildfires have the potential to melt plastic skylight windows and thus create openings for wildfire embers to enter your home. Ensure that your skylight windows use tempered, double-insulated glass in order to withstand the high temperatures.
4. Clear home surrounding
Any material within 5 feet of your home is a potential source of the fire. These include dry leaves, firewood racks, or wooden trellis surrounding your home. Therefore, use non-flammable materials such as stones or rocks and succulent plants such as cacti to limit your home’s exposure to fire sources. Additionally, you can utilize “firewise” landscaping (fuel break landscaping) to eliminate or reduce the amount of organic material near your home. Any plant life near your home should regularly be watered to increase their moisture content.
5. Reduce the bowling alley
A “bowling alley” is a space within your home devoid of vegetation where embers can pass through. Ensure that trees around your home are well spaced to block wind-blown wildfire embers. Any vegetation around the home should also be kept moist and well pruned for low-hanging tree branches. Create an area of between 30 to 100 feet wildfire line of defense around your property to prevent wildfire flames from reaching your home.
6. Install auto sprinkler heads
An awesome tool for protecting your home is an automatic sprinkler head installed on the roof powered by an automatic generator. The sprinkler has the ability to put out fire spots that emanate from wildfire embers. In connection with the sprinklers, maintain an emergency supply outside your home. Additionally, you need to have firefighting equipment such as shovels, fire extinguishers, ladders, buckets, and hosepipe that reach the rooftop.
7. Cut down dead trees
Cut down any dead tree from your compound as it can help a wildfire to move faster. Any timber or firewood that results from the cut tree should never be stored by the side of the house. Store the wood on a raised fire resistant box away from your home.
8. Insurance Coverage
A wildfire is an emergency situation. You should have your home insured for wildfires if you live close to densely forested areas. Consider having a homeowner insurance cover instead of a standard fire policy. This is because the former covers your home and belongings against wildfires while the later covers against specific perils and may have geographical limitations.
If you need fire restoration service because you did not read this artile “Top 8 Tactics for Fire Prevention At Home” in time, call Pulido Fire Restoration Companies.
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