Wildfires pose a danger to both your family’s lives and your property. This is due to the fact that wildfires often begin unnoticed and tend to spread quickly. During a wildfire, embers can become windborne and are a very real threat to your home. These embers are the primary cause of most home and building fires. If you live in an area that is prone to wildfires, there are ways you can keep your family and your property safe.
5 Ways to Prepare Your Home for Wildfires
- Keep Your Home Maintained: Keeping your home well-maintained is key to keeping it safe from wildfires. If you regularly clean your gutters, you will keep them free from materials that could be ignited by windborne embers. Trim any tree limbs that are too close to your home, to keep a fire from spreading to your home that way. Additionally, your regular maintenance should include checking your smoke detectors. Make sure they are always in working order and change your batteries when you reset your clocks. Your home should also include operational fire extinguishers—check these regularly, as well. If your home is two stories, have an escape ladder available from the second floor, one that is easy to deploy and use. If you do any remodeling, use fire-resistant materials and fire-rated glass. Consider adding fire shutters.
- Landscape For Safety: When landscaping your home, keep wildfire safety in mind. Use only fire-resistant shrubbery and trees. For ground cover, don’t use mulch. Instead, use fireproof items like rock or stone. Flower beds and gardens are actually helpful as a ground cover because they can act as firebreaks. Fire-retardant plant species like hedging roses, honeysuckle, rockrose, ice plant, and aloe are great ideas for your garden and flower beds.
- Create and Maintain Zones: Create defensible space zones between your home and natural growth around your property. Maintain these zones to help keep a wildfire from spreading t to your home. The zones should be free of brush, trees, and grasses. Move any woodpiles or loose branches away from structures on your property.
- Prepare and Practice: Have a disaster preparedness kit on hand. This should include first aid supplies, bottled water, extra clothing, blankets, medications, personal hygiene items, a flashlight with extra batteries, non-perishables, and pet or baby items if necessary, and copies of important documents. Have a map on hand, with an evacuation route planned out, as well as a home inventory of your belongings.
- Public Adjuster Information: Make sure to have the contact information of an Independent Public Adjuster on hand. If you need help with a claim after a wildfire has damaged your home, a Public Adjuster can help.
Follow these tips to get your home ready for a natural disaster, such as wildfires, floods, or storms. Consider storing your home inventory and copies of personal documents at another location, such as a safe deposit box. Stay safe this wildfire season by following these simple tips!