5 Tips to Protect Your Home from Fire Damage During Wildfire Season
Unfortunately, wildfire season doesn’t end when summer does; it only ramps up. If you live in an area that has been affected by wildfires in the past or that runs the risk of wildfires year-round, you know how devastating these natural disasters can be to your home and property. How can you protect your home from fire damage during wildfire season?
Here are five tips to protect your home from wildfires
1) Keep your gutters clean
Over time, debris can find its way into your gutters and downspouts. This can create a hazardous situation by increasing your chances of catching fire to your roof. Keep your gutters clean so you’re doing everything you can to protect yourself from wildfires. Stay up-to-date on fire safety updates: When it comes to wildfire prevention, the most important thing is to be aware of what's going on in your area. As soon as there are any changes in air quality or the weather forecast, take the appropriate steps. Be ready for anything: It's important that you have all the resources you need before it's too late.
2) Clean up piles of leaves, branches and other combustible materials
Piles of combustible materials that have accumulated around your home are one of the easiest ways for fires to start. Also, clear out your gutters and make sure they aren’t full of debris. The same goes for your yard; be sure it’s free of trash, leaves and overgrown brush.
3) Clear flammable items away from exterior walls
Wood, leaves, and trash close to your house is highly flammable—and it’s often on fire before you even realize there’s a problem. Be aware of these items and remove them as soon as possible if they are a risk to your home. Ensure that all the vents and outlets in your attic have screens: A fireplace chimney can act like a smokestack and create heavy smoke during fires. Consider installing metal or metal-lined windows: More expensive than traditional windows, metal or metal-lined windows will protect against radiant heat from a wildfire more effectively than regular glass windows.
4) Create a defensible space around your home
There are some things you can do to reduce your home’s fire risk. One of them is creating a defensible space. A defensible space is an area cleared around a structure (usually at least 30 feet wide) that's free of dead wood, low-hanging branches and other combustible materials. By creating a defensible space around your home, it gives firefighters greater access to your house in case there's an emergency, so they'll be able to put out any fires more quickly.
5) Check your insurance policy
Before wildfire season begins, make sure you have an adequate homeowners insurance policy. You may find that your current policy doesn’t have sufficient coverage for damage caused by wildfire. It is important to know what your policy covers and what type of additional coverage you need. Check with your insurer or agent if you have any questions about what is covered and not covered by your current homeowners insurance policy. You may be surprised!