With summer upon us, many areas of the US will experience drought. Often, drought conditions will leave some areas prone to wildfires. Wildfires can spread quickly, with little warning, and can wreak millions of dollars in damages, and even loss of life, in just a matter of hours. Often, wildfire damage can start just from embers blowing through the air that cause things to ignite where they land.
Fortunately, there are some things that you can do to help protect your home and family from these deadly blazes. Here are 4 steps you can take today to make your home a little safer from wildfire.
Evaluate Your Property
Take a good look around your property and see if there are any fire hazards. Do you have stacks of wood up against your house or barn? That’s a prime fire target! What about propane tanks? Are they clear of debris or other items that could ignite from blowing embers. Most experts recommend keeping this sort of thing at least 20 feet from your home, to give it a good barrier from ignition.
You can get a tinted film to apply to all your windows to help them stand up to the heat of a fire. It may not save them from breaking, but it will keep them together so that fire can’t blow inside your home. An added benefit is that these films will give you UV protection and keep prying eyes out, too!
Examine Decks and Porches
What are most decks made of? Wood. Which can be a disaster if a fire were to break out. There isn’t really any magic formula to protect your wooden deck from a fire. One thing you can do, which is costly, is replace it with stone, but not everyone has money for that. Otherwise, you will probably have to consider the deck a fire casualty, unless you could replace it with a fire resistant wood, like Brazilian Teak or Brazilian Walnut. These woods are pricey, though, so again, that’s not an option for some people.
One area of concern for homeowners facing wildfires is the top portion of their home. Think gutters, roof, attic. All of these are prime targets for embers to ignite the whole home. Make sure your gutters are regularly cleaned out and free of things like dead leaves, twigs and other things that could ignite. Also, if your roof has wood shingles, and you live in an area prone to wildfire, you might want to consider replacing it with metal roofing, or good quality asphalt shingles. Both of those have a long life, and are pretty near fireproof.
These are just a few things you can do to be proactive about keeping your home from safe from wildfire. While it won’t guarantee that your home won’t be damaged, it will help make it a little harder for your home to be a total loss.