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This year’s fire season is causing more concern than ever, predominantly on the West Coast. Still, here in Arizona, we become increasingly aware of the increasing risk of wildfire to our homes. With the understanding that we can expect fire seasons to become more and more of a danger it is important to do everything we can to be prepared.
According to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety, 4.5 million U.S. homes are identified at high or extreme risk of wildfire. This is often due to location but there are tips and material choices, which can help, protect you and your belongings from the devastating risk of flames.
Understanding how you can be prepared for wildfire could save your home, your life and the lives of the people you love.
Building a New Home With Fire Safe Materials
If you are building a new home then prioritize using fire-resistant building materials. “Fire Resistance” is described as the ability of a building component to resist a fully developed fire, while still performing its function.
One of the most reliable fire resistant building components is concrete due to its low thermal conductivity. Double pane fire resistant heat-treated glass windows take twice as long to conduct heat while brick and fire retardant plywood can also slow down a fire.
It is important to remember that the location of where you choose to build your home can make a big difference as to if a fire can spread to your house. Choose a location at least 15 feet away from other homes in your neighborhood.
Modify Your Home For Fire Safety
If you are not building a new home there are many modifications to your home you can do to protect your home from going up in flames.
Cover your attic and subfloor vents with non-combustible screening so they can still breath without providing passageways for flames to travel. If you have barrel-tiled roofing, seal the open edges with grout to prevent embers from blowing in.
Another investment to protect your home is to replace your old windows with heat-treated double pane glass. The fewer places that flame can create entrances for oxygen, the slower a fire will burn. Our sunscreens are effective at keeping your home 10-15 degrees colder by blocking solar energy from heating the inside of your home.
Fire Safe Yards
How you maintain the outside of your house can also make a big difference in the ability of a fire to travel to your home. Prioritize native plants in your landscape, as they are used to resisting or surviving forest fires. Make sure to keep at least 30 feet around your house well mowed and free of dry grasses, leaves and trees. Keep your vegetation well watered and store any firewood 30 feet from your home and downhill from any structure.
When There’s a Wildfire Warning
When a wildfire warning is in effect the good news is you have time to prepare. Make sure you know where everyone in your family is. Remove any potentially flammable objects from around your home. This includes outdoor furniture, trash, and vehicles.
Remove flammable materials like trash, furniture and vehicles from around your home. Close all your windows and cover them with curtains or blankets. Shut off the gas and make sure to water your yard until it is deeply saturated. Pay attention to the air quality and the news for updates. Be packed and prepared to evacuate. If you do have to leave follow routes mandated by local officials, as fire can change paths very quickly potentially blocking your escape route.
If caught outside, it is best to locate yourself on the backside of a mountain. Steer clear of canyons as fire can get trapped in these. If fire comes close, find a ditch or hole and cover yourself in anything that can protect you from the heat.
In the aftermath of a fire it is important not to return home until officials have instructed that it is safe. Protect your family and neighbors by keeping your home and landscape wildfire safe.
At CC Sunscreens, we care about the safety and health of our community. Sunscreens and patio screens help keep your house cool from the desert heat. Contact us today to learn more about our products and services.