Tips to "fire harden" your home

13 Tips to fire harden your home

Fire hardening adds form and function.
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Remember, the main reason for implementing defensible space is to protect your home from an advancing wildland fire. Fire hardening should be part of your overall plan.

By fire hardening we mean the steps you can take to reduce the chance of ignition from direct flame, firebrand showers and radiant heat coming from outside of the defensible zone.

What gives a home the best chance to survive a wildfire are its construction materials and the quality of defensible space surrounding it. Embers from a wildfire may find the weak link in your home’s fire protection and gain the upper hand because of a small, overlooked or seemingly inconsequential factor.

Here are some tips to keep your home safe:

Make sure your roof is clear of debris.
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Green lawns can slow or stop an advancing fire.
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Start by making sure your roof and gutters are clear of flammable vegetation like leaves and pine needles.

Remove dry grasses from around your home.

Keep desired vegetation well-irrigated.

Clear flammable materials from your deck and below as well. This includes wood storage, brooms and easily ignitable patio furniture.

Woodpiles are a major source of ignition.
Note the proximity
of the fence.
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Install fine wire mesh screen over roof, eave and foundation vents.
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Enclose and seal the area under your deck from wind-driven embers.

Move the woodpile and lidded garbage cans at least 30 feet or more from the house.

Install fine wire mesh screen over roof, eave and foundation vents.

Inspect chimney and install a spark-arresting mesh screen.

Relocate propane tanks and other flammable materials to 30 feet or more from the house.

Replacement metal windows can make a difference.
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Keep propane tanks 30 feet or more from your home and without flammables nearby.
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Retrofit windows, doors, siding and decking with fire-resistant products, as time and budget allow. A replacement double pane, metal – not vinyl – window can make the difference between survival and loss.

Napa Firewise

  To empower the citizens of Napa County with the information, knowledge, and support they need to survive a wildfire.