Last week, I gave a webinar with the Green Builder folks to discuss how builders, designers, developer, architects and landscape architects could all help to build safer in areas prone to wildfire. While it is great to build safety into a brand new home or subdivision with the opportunity to start from scratch, it's also very possible - and often not very difficult nor expensive - for folks living in fire country to make a difference around their homes.
The fire science research clearly shows that what people do to their homes and immediately around their homes - within as little as 30 feet from the structure perimeter - makes a huge difference in whether the home will ignite. A home that doesn't ignite won't burn - so why not take steps to give your home a fighting chance to survive?
Simple things you can do today include clearing roofs, gutters and deck surfaces of debris like leaves and needles; raking out flammable mulch at least 5 feet away from your home, deck or porch; and trimming back any overhanging tree limbs or bushes that touch the house. It's the little things that you can do that will make a difference - because it's the little things - namely embers - that really cause big problems. This image (courtesy www.extension.org and IBHS) points out vulnerable areas like roof valleys and re-entrant corners that can easily be treated by the homeowner. See more tips in the Firewise toolkit here.
If you want to see how quickly those little embers can cause big problems right near your home, check out the recording of the webinar below. Feel free to skip ahead to 16:50 to see the IBHS ember test highlights and hear more about what you're seeing. There IS something you can do to help your home survive a wildfire. Act on this information today!