The scent of smoke weighs heavily in the air.
And while the flames are far in the distance, you’re well aware that a quick shift in the wind could put you — and your home — at risk.
When you live in Oregon or Washington, the threat of a wildfire can seem ever-eminent. And protecting your home is of the utmost importance.
But how do you protect your house from a wildfire?
Keep reading to learn more about how to fireproof your property, including your home, with our seven practical tips.
Table of Contents
- How Do You Prepare Your House for a Wildfire?
- 7 Tips for How To Protect Your House From Wildfires
- Elite Home Exteriors: Protecting Your Home With Non-Combustible Hardie® Fiber Cement Exterior Products
How Do You Prepare Your House for a Wildfire?
The best way to protect your house from wildfire is to create a defensible space around it by:
- Using building materials that won’t burn; and
- Regularly removing debris around your home
No house is 100% resistant to fire damage, but these suggestions can help you safeguard your home in case of a wildfire threat.
Elite Home Exteriors offers the best in non-combustible fiber cement exterior siding products for your home or business. Contact us today to learn more about James Hardie® siding or for your free consultation.
7 Tips for How To Protect Your House From Wildfires
#1: Create Defensible Space Around Your Home
The radiant heat produced by a severe wildfire can ignite your house from just 100 feet away. That’s why, if you’re located in a wildfire-prone area, creating a defensible space around your home is non-negotiable.
A fundamental way to protect your house from wildfires is to create a fireproof buffer in the area between 30 and 100 feet around your home.
To create a defensible space, try as much as possible to:
- Reduce or remove dead trees, low-hanging branches, grass, and weeds
- Keep stacked firewood at least 100 feet from your home
- Avoid flammable species of plants and trees
- Clear away all combustible items
- Regularly water vegetation; and
- Use non-combustible materials such as brick, gravel, and concrete
By removing fuel for a wildfire, you’re creating a buffer around your home that can prevent flames from approaching — while giving firefighters a safe place to fight the flames.
#2: Plan for Emergency Responders
A key to protecting your home from wildfires is to make it easy for first responders and firefighters to defend your home.
You can prepare for their arrival by:
- Making sure your street name and numbers are clearly marked and legible.
- Turning on exterior lights and a light in each room to increase your home’s visibility in smoky conditions.
- Connecting exterior garden hoses long enough to reach any area of your home.
- Opening any gates to allow easy access to your home
- Filling garbage cans, tubs, and other large containers with water and leaving them near your home.
- Placing a ladder against a corner of your home for easy access to your roof.
- Clearly marking all external water sources. Install external sprinkler systems with a dedicated power source or a water tank if no water source is available.
- Ensuring your driveway is wide enough and has sufficient vertical clearance to allow fire vehicles to access your home.
- Creating a defensible space around your home.
#3: Use Fire-Resistant Siding Materials
As you’re considering how to protect your house from wildfires, don’t overlook the importance of using fire-resistant siding materials.
A perfect choice is James Hardie’s® non-combustible fiber cement exterior products. Not only will they not ignite when exposed to a direct flame, but they also don’t contribute fuel to a fire.
Would you like to learn more about fire-resistant siding? Get in touch with the siding professionals at Elite Home Exteriors today!
#4: Regularly Clean & Remove Debris
Debris around your home can easily catch fire from wind-blown embers.
That’s why it’s critical to perform regular maintenance to clean up the area surrounding your home by removing debris.
Be sure to:
- Regularly clean your gutters.
- Trim away tree branches that overhang your house.
- Ensure landscaping, such as shrubs and grasses, are not in contact with your home.
#5: Protect Your Vents & Windows From Embers
Wind-blown embers can also pose a huge threat during a wildfire as they can easily float into cracks in vents, open eaves, and open windows.
In the threat of an impending wildfire, it’s critical to safeguard these areas from danger by:
- Sealing off attic vents and windows with ⅛-inch metal screening.
- Boxing in rafter tails and exposed eaves.
- Closing all windows and doors and leaving them unlocked.
- Removing any flammable window coverings.
- Moving flammable furniture away from windows and doors.
#6: Fortify Your Roof
Did you know that the likelihood of your home surviving a wildfire weighs heavily on how your home was built, and the materials used to build it?
And did you also know that your roof is the most at-risk component in a wildfire due to its location and size?
As you’re considering how to protect your house from wildfires, a critical component is keeping flying embers from latching onto the eaves and ledges of your roof.
Here are a few tips for keeping embers out and ensuring your roof is fortified in case of a wildfire:
- Ensure you have a class A-rated roof with noncombustible coverings.
- Replace eaves with flat ledges and short overhangs.
- Keep your gutters free from leaves and pine needles.
- Cover under-eave and exterior attic vents with metal wire mesh no larger than ⅛ inch.
- Install a fire block in the gap between the foundation of the house and framed walls to starve the fire of oxygen and prevent it from spreading.
#7: Remember to Protect Inside Your Home
As you consider all the external preparation involved in protecting the outside of your home from wildfire, be sure not to neglect to protect the inside of your home, as well.
Take the time to review your homeowner’s insurance policy. Verify that your coverage is adequate to help you process a future claim if needed.
Prepare (or update) a thorough list of the contents of your home.
Taking the time to create a detailed list of your belongings will give you peace of mind — and help speed up the insurance claim process. You may also want to consider taking photos of high-value items or walking through your home and videoing your belongings for easy reference.
Elite Home Exteriors: Protecting Your Home With Non-Combustible Hardie® Fiber Cement Exterior Products
Elite Home Exteriors is a local, family-owned business. And we treat our customers like part of the family.
Our goal is to provide your home with a beautiful, long-lasting exterior that can withstand a wildfire — and the test of time.
And as James Hardie® ELITE Preferred Contractors in Portland metro and Clark County, you can rest assured all products will be installed to provide optimal performance.
Contact us today for your free consultation. We look forward to working with you!