Make Your Home Fire Resistant
With the very dry conditions we live in here, working to make your home fire resistant needs to be a high priority on your list of home maintenance chores. Having your home damaged or razed to the ground by a catastrophic fire is probably one of the most devastating things that can happen to you.
Living here in Southern California, where wildfires can easily ignite when conditions are right, your home may be at risk.
A total of 7,860 fires were recorded by Cal Fire and the US Forest Service during the 2019 California wildfire season. Preliminary statistics state these fires affected an estimated 259,823 acres of land.
While no home can be made so impenetrable to be completely fireproof, you can take certain precautions to make your property less vulnerable to flying embers and radiant heat.
Here are our 6 tips to make your home fire resistant:
Fireproof Your Landscaping
One of the most basic and common projects undertaken by homeowners is landscaping. Fireproofing your home by landscaping doesn’t require any drastic measures. Routine yard maintenance alone is the first step to making your home fire resistant.
Routine maintenance ensures that there are no combustible materials that fire can grab onto. In the event of a fire, a well managed yard can slow down its approach. This gives you time to escape and makes it easier for firefighters to get to your home.
Create a defensible perimeter around your home. Clear the brush around your property. Remove any dead trees or shrubs, dried leaf litter, pine needles, or fallen twigs or branches that can add fuel to an existing fire.
If you are planning to invest in improvements, replace organic (and combustible) mulch with gravel or stone mulch products. These can slow down fire from spreading to your home.
Carefully consider plants and foliage to include in your landscape design. Stay away from greenery that contains oils or resins (examples include junipers and pine) or grasses that burn quickly, therefore adding fuel to an already raging fire.
Plants with high water content are ideal groundcover for homes in high risk areas. Some of our plant suggestions include daylilies, western rosebuds, or stonecrops.
Keep Your Gutters Clean
Keeping your gutters well maintained and free from dead leaves and pine needles goes a long way in protecting your home from fire.
In addition to making your home fire resistant, keeping your gutters free from debris also helps in water damage prevention.
Consider Your Roofing Material
Due to its large surface area, the roof is the most vulnerable part of your home during a wildfire. Embers from a nearby fire can settle on your roof, ignite it, and quickly envelop your home in flames.
Admittedly, changing your roof is a major investment, but the materials you use need not break the bank. Some cost effective choices include fiberglass based asphalt shingles or concrete tiles.
Metal is another excellent roofing choice for southern California residents. Not only does it offer Class A fire-resistance, it is also stylish, durable and easy to maintain.
Other roof choices that can make your roof and home fire resistant include slate, concrete and clay tiles. Whatever your choice is, it may be the most worthwhile investment you can make for your home in terms of making it less vulnerable to fires.
Change Your Vents
If you are changing your roof, consider making a change in your vents as well. We recommend installing bigger dormer vents and closing off under eave and soffit vents. Alternatively, you can use non-combustible materials to protect eaves and soffits.
Upgrade Your Windows
When considering a renovation to make your home fire resistant, do not forget the windows. Wildfires generate intense radiant heat that can cause windows to break. This makes the interior of your home vulnerable to flying embers even before the fire reaches your home.
Here are our tips if you are planning to upgrade your windows:
If you can afford the extra cost, consider installing tempered glass. These can withstand temperatures of up to 470º F, offering an extra layer of protection.
The next best option is double paned windows with one pane being tempered glass. While not as effective as windows that are all tempered glass, this option still reduces the risk of breakage during a fire.
Pay attention to the frame that you use, as well. It is useless to install fire resistant glass for your windows if the frame is still going to burn. Wood or vinyl may be popular choices but they burn easily. Go with steel, fiberglass or aluminum, instead.
Fortify Your Exterior Walls
Your exterior walls offer a line of defense against fires. Protect against fires and reduce your risk of fire damage with these suggestions:
Stucco is a great alternative for exterior walls. While not completely fire resistant, stucco keeps your walls from combusting spontaneously because it takes about an hour for it to start burning.
If you are renovating your home’s siding, consider these options:
Fiberglass: It is not as combustible as wood.
Aluminum siding: If you like the look of wood, aluminum siding can be made to look like wood. Ideal not only for its fire resistant qualities, aluminum siding is also maintenance free.
People often get into action mode when disaster strikes and the risk of fire is great but forget the plans again once the threat has passed.
Perhaps you’ve heard the phrase “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” While care and attention during the fire season is necessary, preventative measures can go a long way in helping protect your house during more difficult times.
So, if you are planning a remodel, or looking to just protect your family and your investment, it is best to include fire resistant measures in your plans so both you and your home are more prepared for the next fire season.
Let Five Star Restoration Help
It may seem like a cliche, but being proactive is still your best defense against fires.
Hopefully, our tips on how to remodel to make your home fire resistant have been helpful. However, even with the best preparations, your home can still sometimes be affected by fire.
If you have experienced fire damage in your home, let our experts at Five Star Restoration help. We are a trusted and experienced fire damage and smoke restoration company which can remove, contain, and clean quickly and safely in the event of a fire. We have specialty equipment and the know-how to restore your home in as stress-free a manner as possible.
Fire and the ensuing fire and smoke damage, and water damage is distressing. Five Star Restoration can help you get back to normal as quickly and painlessly as possible.
Call us for 24/7 service now at (951) 368-2227.
Tags: fire-proof house tips, fire resistant home, house fire prevention, fire proof your home