You Can Prevent Wildfires From Getting Your Home
Unfortunately, many Californians from North to South are feeling the effects of the disastrous wildfires blazing down our great state. The combination of the Santa Ana winds and our desert climate is a hazardous mix and almost every year we experience some sort of wildfire. However, 2017 was an unusually busy year for our firefighters and the many out of area fighters that came to our aide. Though there is not much we can do to prevent mother nature, there are things you can do to make your house more ignition resistant.
1. Secure your roof. Believe it or not, but most wildfires ignite on roof first. The roof is the most vulnerable because of it's large surface area. Those made of metal or asphalt are, of course, far safer than those made of wood shingles. Check with a professional roofer or home inspector to ensure yours is up-to-date.
2. Add metal mesh to vents. The second way in which the house ignites happens when embers get into vents. Homes should have 1/8 inch metal screening over vents to prevent this.
3. Use tempered glass for windows. Windows fail because of the amount of heat in direct contact with the glass, resulting in shattering. Double pane windows can help this some, but, more importantly, tempered glass can prevent glass from fully breaking and allowing the heat to enter the home.
4. Clear vegetation. Combustible materials should be kept AT LEAST 5 feet from walls. For example, mulch is highly flammable. Not only can it catch fire, but it can help the fire to grow.
5. Avoid flammable patio furniture. Wood decks and furniture are, or course, the most vulnerable. if you're considering building a deck or replacing an existing one, build with ignition-resistant materials. The can prevent the spread of wildfire, will last longer, and require far less maintenance (think termites).