With the hot summer weather approaching, the risk of wildfires are on the rise. Many of us don’t think our homes are at risk from wildfires until it’s too late. Although wildfires are completely out of our control, there are still some steps that we can take to assess how much wildfire risk our home is vulnerable to. Here are some tips that you can use to assess the amount of wildfire risk your home has.
Wildfire Risk Assessment for Your Home
You can assess how much wildfire risk your home is exposed to by looking at a few things related to the actual home structure, like the house’s roofing and siding.
What Kind Of Roofing Do You Have?
Class A UL/ASTM fire rated materials like metal, clay tile or asphalt shingles are better than unrated roof assemblies like wood shakes and wood shingle roofs.
Are Your Gutters Combustible?
Non-combustible gutters made from metal or aluminum are better than those made from combustible materials like plastic, vinyl or wood.
How Clean Are Your Roof Gutters?
If your gutters have a lot of plant needles, leaves or other combustible materials present, that increases the risk from wildfires.
What Type Of Exterior Siding Do You Have?
Avoid combustible siding or non-ignition resistant siding like vinyl, wood, or acrylic stucco. Instead, opt for ignition-resistant materials like fibre cement boards / logs, or non-combustible materials like stucco, metals, or brick/stone.
Are There Gaps / Holes in Your Exterior Siding?
Gaps, cracks, or holes in your exterior siding increases the risk your home has to wildfires, so fix/fill them ASAP if there are some!
Are Your Walls Protected with Non-Combustible Clearance?
It is best to have walls protected with a minimum 15 cm of non-combustible ground-to-side clearance.
How Fire Resistant Are Your Windows or Doors?
There should be no gaps in any doors. Also, multi-pane glass or tempered glass is better for windows than single-pane glass.
Wildfire Risk Assessment for Your Yard
One can also assess how much wildfire risk a home is exposed to by looking at the house’s yard.Read on to learn more.
What Type Of Forest Grows Within 10 Meters Of Your Home?
Healthy deciduous trees like poplar, aspen, and birch are best. Whereas, Conifer trees (spruce, pine, fir cedar) and Mixedwood trees (both conifer and deciduous) are riskier.
Where Are Your Woodpiles or Combustible Materials Stored?
it is best to store woodpiles and other combustible materials at least 10 meters from the home.
The FireSmart Wildfire Risk Assessment Score Card PDF
For more info, view the FireSmart Wildfire Risk Assessment Score Card PDF.
Evacuation Tips for Fire Emergencies
In a worse case scenario where you may need to evacuate your home due to a nearby wildfire, you will want to have an evacuation kit prepared. Also, there are some important things to remember before you leave and evacuate your home too. See below to learn more.
Ready To Go Evacuation Kits
Having an evacuation kit ready to go can be a life saver if you ever need it. Things to put in your evacuation kit could include;
- Water, try for 2 liters of water for each person.
- Food, focus on non-refrigerated food.
- Flashlight, remember to pack extra batteries too.
- Clothes, as you will want a change of clothes.
- First Aid Kit, at least a small one.
- Medicine, in case any family member requires special medication.
- IDs, as you will want some personal identification.
- Hygiene Items, like soap, hand sanitizer, tooth brush/paste, etc.
- Pet Food, and any other pet supplies you feel are important.
- Cash, in small denominations is best.
When You Leave, Remember To…
- Bring your ready-to-go evacuation kit (see above).
- Turn off your home water, electricity, and gas.
- Close doors and windows.
The FireSmart Wildfire Evacuation Tips PDF
For more information, view the FireSmart Wildfire Evacuation Tips PDF.
Contact Us Today For More Info
If you have any pending questions about how to assess and protect your house from wildfires, feel free to contact one of our friendly reps right now!