Now that wildfires are occurring with increased frequency in Northern California, people are asking “What can I do to help my home survive a wildfire?”. Whether you are building a new home, adding on to an existing home, or rebuilding from a previous fire, there are some basic things to know about building in areas that are within a Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) area.
- The selection of building materials and designs to improve the ability of your home to survive a wildland-to-home fire spread, according to Steven Quarles, includes:
- Maintain roof covering and replace with Class A when necessary
- Remove debris from roof and gutters
- Make sure the eave area can resist ember and anticipated flame exposure. Modify near-home vegetation as necessary.
- Install multi-pane tempered glass windows
- Remove combustible materials from under decks and use compliant decking.
- Develop vegetation management plan and maintain selected plants and vegetation with adequate irrigation and removal of dead material.
“A wildfire-safe home must be an ember-resistant home, so that even if the flames do not reach your home, it will be able to withstand exposure to embers that may have been blown a mile or more in front of a wildfire. To provide maximum wildfire protection for your home, a combination of near-home vegetation management, appropriate building materials, and related design features must be used”.
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