Some precautions that homeowners take include installing non-combustible sidings and roofing, removal of wood attachments, managing vegetation and well thought out landscaping to create a defensible space. Even with these extra precautions, we still find these houses burnt to the ground or severely damaged by smoke and fire damages.
According to Cal Fire – the California Department of Forestry & Fire Protection, the flying embers from a wildfire can destroy a home up to a mile away. These embers tend to enter the ventilation system which leaves your home vulnerable to burn inside out. A typical home may have gable-end, soffit, dormer, foundation, or ridge vents which leave the home vulnerable to embers. The combination of embers and high winds can drive the embers straight into the home and cause the property to ignite from the inside.
What else can we do on top of all the precautionary measures?
- Choose soffited eave design instead of an open eave design for under-eave inlet vents when purchasing or renovating a home near wildfire areas.
- Use specialized fireproofing vents such as Vulcan Vents or mesh screening to reduce the chance of embers leaking through. Building codes may require vent openings to be covered by one-quarter inch mesh in certain areas. We recommend ⅛ inch mesh where possible. Wildfire research has shown that embers can pass through quarter-inch meshing and ignite combustible materials.
- Clear your attic space of combustible materials such as newspaper, cardboard and other materials that can be easily ignited by embers.
- Maintain a defensible space around your property and clear out any vegetation that may put your property in danger. Remember that fire must have fuel to burn.
- Replace combustible siding, roof and attachments with non-combustible construction materials.
- Apply long term fire retardant such as PHOS-CHEK to your property during wildfire season.
The main question arises:
Will all these precautionary and proactive measures save my home from a wildfire? While there is no such thing as a fireproof home, actions will improve the chance of your home surviving a wildfire.
If you ever find yourself in a situation where you are evacuated and do not know if you will be coming back to a home, you can give Allied Restoration a call for some prior consultations and home defense planning.
Allied Restoration is a NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) Member and can conduct a 14-point home defense inspection. Homeowners around the wildfire areas also sign up for the Private Client Home Defense plan where they can get access to our emergency services 24/7/365!
This inspection includes recommendations and inspections including:
1. Inspect bathroom water supply lines
2. Inspect laundry room water supply lines
3. Water pressure test
4. Defensible space
5. Vegetation management
6. Ember management / Exterior Vents
7. Fire retardant application
8. Exterior stucco/siding
11. Inspect air ducts
12. Inspect furnace
13. Inspect air filter
14. Gas valve
If you are interested in our 14-point inspection and Private Client Home Defense plan, give us a call at 888-860-1003 to schedule a consultation.