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Reduce Your Exposure to Wildfires

 

If you live in a wildfire-prone area, the following are some tips for you to mitigate the risks of suffering a wildfire loss.

  • If you are building a house or planning to replace a roof, consider noncombustible or fire-resistant roofing materials, such as Class A asphalt shingles, metal, cement, and concrete products, or terra-cotta tiles. These types of roofs are less susceptible to burning embers from a wildfire.

  • Remove any dead branches, leaves, and any other vegetation from your roof and gutters.

  • Remove any dry brush from your yard and stack firewood at least 20 feet from your home.

  • Create a "fuel-break" -- driveways, gravel walkways, or lawns.

  • Prevent sparks from entering your home by covering vents with wire mesh no larger than 1/8-inch. Cover skylights and chimney outlets with nonflammable screening materials.

  • Use tempered glass in your windows since this material withstands high temperatures from wildfires better than regular plate or double pane glass.

  • Make trellises of nonflammable metal.

  • Avoid certain exterior siding materials, such as vinyl, which soften and melt easily under high temperatures. Instead, siding materials such as stucco or masonry should be selected, since these resist heat better.

- International Risk Management Institute, Inc., September 2009