Wildfires are common in many states, especially during the summer months when plants and trees are drier than other times of the year. During the summer, arid climates can create a fire-prone environment that could put your property in danger of burning. Up to 10 million acres of land can burn each year depending on the conditions, but fortunately there are steps you can take to protect your home and family. We have provided tips below on how to protect your home and property from wildfire.
Your Home’s Ability to Survive a Fire
There are two main factors that are the primary determinants of your home’s ability to survive a wildfire: quality of the defensible space around the home and the home’s structural ignitability. These two factors combine to create a Home Ignition Zone (HIZ). The HIZ is the structure and the space immediately surrounding the structure.
The first factor in the HIZ is the defensible space surrounding your home. By maintaining this space and clearing it of potential “fire fuel,” you can lessen the chances of your home catching fire. The area closest to your home should have a space of 5 feet between its walls and the nearest plant or tree. Any plants or trees should be pruned and dead branches should be removed. Ensure that no branches are touching the structure roof, and all pine needles are cleared from the roof, gutters, and decks.
Further out from your home, you should work to remove distressed, dead or dying trees and shrubs. This will help lessen the intensity of the fire as it nears your home. Try and maintain a distance of 10-foot spacing between tree crowns.
When building or repairing your home, you can make the decision to use fire-resistant materials which can help immensely should a fire reach your house. Roofing materials such as asphalt, metal, tile, clay, concrete and slate are all great options to help increase your roofs’ fire-resistance.
If you have a deck made of wood, this is often one of the first places a fire will ignite. Decks can trap hot gasses which can start a fire quite easily. There are many composite options for decking, although they do tend to be slightly more expensive. These options are much less susceptible to fires.
Windows can be one of the weakest parts of a building when it comes to wildfires. They usually fail before the building ignites, allowing the fire to enter your home more easily through burning embers. In order to decrease the chances of your windows failing, preparing and maintaining a defensible space is crucial.
It’s important that you have an available water source for fire fighters to use in case a fire approaches your home. Fire fighters work very hard to protect your property, but can only do so much without a constant water source. If you live in a forested area, ensure a water supply is readily available. This can be anything from a lake, pond, swimming pool, or hot tub. If you do not have a nearby water source, consider installing a well-marked dry hydrant or cistern.
You can also make changes to your property that combat specific tree species around your property. For a list of different Colorado trees and how to prepare your home, you can get more information by visiting this site. We hope these tips will provide you a safe start in evaluating how to protect your home and property from wildfire.
Colorado has many great outdoor camping grounds and places to enjoy during the summer. Make sure you keep your family safe and research the areas you are planning to visit to know current fire restrictions: click here for a current Colorado Fire Ban Map. Areas that are colored in blue indicate a County Enacted Fire Restriction in place. Counties that are colored gray have not reported a fire restriction to Colorado OEM.
Of course, if you find yourself dealing with the aftermath of a fire at your home or business, you will want professionals that can help you get back on your feet quickly. Call us to schedule a free estimate for repairs or call us at 303-922-4001.