As wildfires continue to pose an increasing threat to homes and communities, taking proactive measures to safeguard your property becomes paramount. A Fire Smart home assessment is a comprehensive approach to reduce the risk of wildfires damaging or destroying your home. In this blog, we will explore the importance of Fire Smart assessments and discuss immediate actions you can take to protect your home. These actions include creating and maintaining a non-combustible surface under your deck or porch, moving combustible materials, and ensuring a defensible space around your home. Additionally, we will consider future steps to enhance your home's fire resilience.
Understanding Fire Smart
Fire Smart is a proactive strategy designed to reduce the vulnerability of your property to wildfires. It involves evaluating your property's vulnerabilities and implementing necessary improvements to mitigate fire hazards. Fire Smart assessments aim to create a defensible space around your home, significantly reducing the risk of your property catching fire during a wildfire.
Immediate Actions for Fire Smart Assessment – Some Considerations
Creating a Non-Combustible Surface: To safeguard your home, it's vital to ensure that your deck or porch has a non-combustible surface. This includes using materials like concrete, stone, or composite decking. Avoid flammable materials like wood, and install ember-resistant features, such as screens or skirting, to prevent embers from accumulating underneath.
Moving Combustible Materials: Firewood and other combustible materials should be relocated to a safe distance from your home—greater than 10 meters (approximately 30 feet). Firewood should be stored in a covered, non-combustible rack to prevent it from becoming fuel for a fire.
Maintaining the Defensible Space: Clean and maintain the current 1.5-meter (approximately 5 feet) non-combustible area surrounding your home. This includes removing any combustible debris like needles and leaves regularly.
Future Considerations for Fire Smart Preparedness
Selective Tree Removal: Consider removing selected evergreen trees within 10 meters of your home. These trees can serve as fuel sources during a wildfire.
Mulch Replacement: Replace bark mulch within 10 meters of your home with non-combustible materials to reduce fire risk.
Plant Selection: Replace highly flammable plants within 10 meters of your home with well-spaced, fire-resistant plants. This helps create a fire-resistant landscape.
Ongoing Maintenance: Commit to bi-annual cleaning and maintenance of your property to ensure it remains fire-ready.
Siding and Deck Upgrades: Consider replacing combustible siding with non-combustible or ignition-resistant siding materials. Similarly, replace combustible deck and porch materials with non-combustible or fire-rated alternatives.
A Fire Smart home assessment is a critical step in safeguarding your property against the growing threat of wildfires. By taking immediate actions such as creating a non-combustible surface, moving combustible materials, and maintaining a defensible space, you significantly reduce the risk to your home and loved ones. Moreover, by considering future steps like tree removal, mulch replacement, and plant selection, you can enhance your home's fire resilience. Remember, wildfire preparedness is an ongoing process, and regular maintenance is key to ensuring your home remains safe. Stay informed about local fire regulations and recommendations, and take proactive steps to fortify your home against this natural disaster. By doing so, you'll be taking a vital step to protect your family and property from the devastating effects of wildfires.