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3 Things You Should Do for Your Home to Prevent Wildfire Damage

5 min read

Once a wildfire is moving toward your property, there’s not much you can do to defend your home. You’ll need to get yourself and your family to safety instead of trying to set up a wildfire home defense at the last minute.

The good news is there are things you can do now that will help protect your home from potential wildfire damage if a fire reaches your neighborhood. Follow these three main tips to defend your home from wildfire damage and get a better understanding of what causes wildfires and how the area around your home can help slow the spread of a fire.

1. Decrease Your Home’s Structural Ignitability

Want to know how to fireproof your home from wildfires? While you probably won’t be able to completely fireproof your home, you can reduce the structural ignitability. The structural ignitability of a building is the likelihood that the materials will catch fire. A home built with lots of flammable materials is more ignitable than a home built of fire-resistant materials.

Ideally, you would use fire-safe materials when designing and building your home. This gives you the chance to incorporate fireproof materials throughout the interior and exterior structure. However, even existing structures can be evaluated to lower the ignitability.

Some ways to lower the ignitability of your home include:

2. Create a Defensible Space Around Your Property

With your home’s ignitability reduced, it’s time to focus on the property around your home. Known as defensible space, there are two zones to know:

Depending on your location, local ordinances may affect the exact required length of defensible space. For example, some areas of California require Zone 1 to be 50 feet instead of 30 feet.

Wildfire defensible spaces are areas that form a buffer between a wildfire and your home. By reducing flammable materials in the defensible space, it makes it more difficult for a fire to reach structures on your property.

In Zone 1, you want to make sure there is little to no fuel for a wildfire to consume by using the following tips:

Keep your home safe in Zone 2 by following these guidelines:

3. Work with Neighbors to Create a Wildfire Plan

Whether you live in a densely populated neighborhood or a more rural area, you should work together with your neighbors to help keep all of your homes safe from wildfires. Just one person not following proper wildfire defense guidelines could provide the fuel a wildfire needs to enter your neighborhood.

Hold a community meeting to come up with a wildfire plan for your neighborhood. Some ideas to help you plan for and protect your neighborhood from wildfires include:

How to Prepare for a Wildfire

Being prepared is your best wildfire home defense. Conditions like drought and high winds can turn a small fire into a raging wildfire in almost no time at all. Take the time now to plan your home’s defense against wildfires. Start by using fire-resistant landscaping, updating home materials for a more fireproof house, and working with your neighbors to reduce the risk of wildfire damage in your neighborhood.

Even the best wildfire defense isn’t completely fireproof, however. You want to make sure your home and belongings are protected against the damage wildfires can cause if they make it through your defenses. Get in touch with your Wawanesa agent to make sure your homeowners insurance or renters insurance has the coverage you need to replace belongings destroyed by fire or repair fire damage to your home.

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The above content is for informational purposes only and is not a direct representation of coverages offered by Wawanesa or its policies. The information does not refer to any specific contract of insurance and does not modify any definitions, provisions, exclusions or limitations expressly stated in any contracts of insurance. All references within the above content are illustrative and may not apply to your situation. The terms and conditions of the actual insurance policy or policies involved in a claim are determinative as to whether an accident or other loss is covered. To understand the coverage under your current policy, please log into the account management platform to review your policy or contact an agent directly.

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