How to Protect Your Home from Wildfire

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How to Protect Your Home from Wildfire

Wildfires are an inevitable fact of nature, but the destruction of your home doesn’t have to be. By creating a defensible space and installing a wildfire sprinkler system, you can ensure the safety of your family, community, and home. Read on to learn how you can protect your home from wildfire. If you have any additional questions, our team at Frontline Wildfire Defense welcomes your phone call or email.

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Understanding Wildfire Risks

Wildfire season runs from May to December, peaking in July through October. The season starts earlier in Southern California and later in the fall in Northern California based on weather patterns. You can check resources like the NIFC and CAL FIRE for more information.

When it comes to protecting your assets, remember that embers carry the biggest risk for spreading fires. Fortunately, by taking proactive measures, you have the power to protect your home, family, and community. If it’s your first time fireproofing a home, it can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t need to be. Use this wildfire home protection guide to prepare your home for wildfire season.

Create a Defensible Space

Creating a defensible space is the first step that you should take in protecting your home. Establishing and maintaining a perimeter around your property is essential to safeguard your home. The goal is to create a buffer between your home and wildland areas or vegetation to reduce contact from flames and embers in the event of a wildfire. Here’s what you need to know:

Remove Flammable Objects

First, remove all flammable materials from your lawn. You should keep these objects at a minimum of 30 feet away from your home at all times. The first 30 feet from your home is known as zone 1 of your defense space. A few common flammables to remove from your lawn or keep at a distance include combustible materials like lawn mowers and weed hackers, as well as everyday objects like patio furniture, toys, umbrellas, etc.

Clear Roofs, Gutters, & Vents

Did you know that some of the most common natural flammables are found on roofs, gutters, decks, and patios? Create a checklist, and keep these areas clear at all times. While checking these areas, always remove vegetation such as dead leaves, pine needles, twigs, and bark. Regularly clear all dead brush and grass from around outside of your home as well.

Remember, wildfire embers cause the majority of wildfire damage, and these natural flammables are just a few examples of debris that readily carry fire. To prevent ember intrusion, it is also highly recommended to install 1/8-inch metal mesh screens over vents and under decks. Once these areas are clear, maintain them so that your defensible space remains effective.

Clear Flammable Vegetation

While plants such as rosemary, juniper, and eucalyptus are beautiful, they are also extremely flammable. Pine trees and other plants also produce natural flammables (like pine needles) that can collect in areas throughout your lawn. We know that everyday life gets busy, so if clearing these areas regularly isn’t an option, consider opting for native vegetation.

Some of our favorite fire-resistant plants include agave, aloe, and blue salvia. Remember to always remove vegetation, such as vines, from the outside of your home, and keep vegetation within 30 feet of your home to a minimum.

Managing your trees is equally important. Low-hanging limbs and branches (10 feet or less above the ground) are known as ladder fuels. As an added measure, you’ll also want to clear all tree and shrub branches that overhang within 10 feet of your property.

Use Fire-Resistant Building Materials

Because fire-resistant materials resist burning, igniting, or acting as fuel during a wildfire, they are essential for property owners who want to protect their home from wildfires. Whether you’re building a new home or open to renovations, including fire-resistant materials in your plan can be a great way to protect your home.

For example, dual-paned glass windows are not only energy-efficient, but they also double the time that it would normally take for a fire to break the glass. Stucco is another excellent fire-resistant building material that has been used by artists for centuries. You can use it to protect roof overhangs, walls, and other areas of your home. Other fire-resistant building materials include brick, concrete, and gypsum.

Consider a Wildfire Sprinkler System

While a wildfire sprinkler system does not replace the need for a defensible space, installing a sprinkler system can be one of the best ways to protect your home.

Wildlife sprinkler systems, like the Frontline Wildfire Defense System, cover your home and property with a mixture of water and biodegradable firefighting foam. These sprinkler systems provide proactive hydration to protect your property from flying embers, the cause of 90% of homes destroyed by wildfire.

Key features of the Frontline Wildfire Defense System include:

  • Remote activation for 24/7 protection from anywhere
  • Built-in battery backup and satellite communication
  • Environmentally friendly, biodegradable Class A foam
  • Municipal, well, pool, and emergency water tank supply options
  • Wildfire tracking and system activation using the Frontline app

Why are sprinkler systems so effective? As researchers at the University of Minnesota have noted, wet homes don’t burn:

A year after the Ham Lake Fire, one of the largest wildfires in the state of Minnesota, researchers found that “[N]o structure with a functional sprinkler system was lost to the Ham Lake Fire. This was true regardless of fire behavior, intensity, surrounding fuels, or wind.”

Always Have an Evacuation Plan

Always remember that while there are many ways that you can protect your home from wildfire, it is essential that you and your family have a proper evacuation plan. Make sure that you have safety materials readily available, such as fire extinguishers, a first aid kit, and an emergency supply kit. Additionally, every evacuation plan should include:

  • A designated meeting area
  • A planned escape route
  • Evacuation plans for pets and animals
  • A single point of contact for communication if family members are separated

Please consult your local fire agency for a complete list of safety materials and other considerations for creating your evacuation plan.

Wildfire Preparation During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Home wildlife fire protection is an “essential service.” During this challenging time, Frontline Wildfire Defense is continuing to provide site visits and installation services. For more information, take a look at our Frontline Safety Measures for COVID-19.

Protect Your Home with Frontline Wildfire Defense

At Frontline Wildfire Defense, our mission is to provide peace of mind and protection for all of our customers and their communities. Now that you know how to protect your home from wildfire, it’s time to get covered. If you’re ready to take the next step, contact us today for a free quote and consultation to learn more about our wildfire sprinkler system.