Home hardening for wildfire. What does this mean? We are glad you asked! Hardening your home is a way to help protect your home from a wildfire. How do you harden your home? Another great question! We will explain what you can do to harden your home and help protect it from fire.
In a wildfire event, your home can be in danger from the direct flames of the wildfire or flames from a nearby home, or from nearby burning plants, or from flying embers. Flying embers are responsible for damaging most homes during a wildfire because they can destroy homes up to one mile away.
Wondering what you can do to harden your home and prevent damage from flying embers and wildfire flames? Let’s explore ways for you to prepare and harden your home.
How to Harden Your Home
- Roof: Choose composition, metal, clay, or tile roof material.
- Vents: Vents create openings for flying embers to enter your home. Cover all vent openings with small 1/16″ to 1/8″ metal mesh that is flame resistant.
- Eaves & Soffits: Use non-combustible materials and ensure eaves are boxed in.
- Windows: Dual pane windows with one pane of tempered glass is best.
- Walls: If you live in a fire prone area, use ignition resistant building materials.
- Decks & Patio Covers: Use ignition & ember resistant building materials.
- Chimney: Close the flu during fire season, when its not being used. Cover chimney with a non-flammable screen.
- Defensible Space: Understand the 3 defensible areas around your home (more info at readyforwildfire.org).
- Zone 0: The area 0-5 ft from your home, this is the Ember Resistant Zone.
- Zone 1: The area 5-30 ft from your home, this is the Lean, Clean, and Green Zone.
- Zone 2: The area 30-100 ft from your home, this is the Reduced Fuel Zone.
The area immediately surrounding your home (Zone 1) should be free on any woodpiles, wood or flammable mulch, or any flammable vegetation or propane tanks. More information on the Defensible Space Zones and home hardening can be found at readyforwildfire.com.
Wildfires happen each year throughout California. Be ready and get your home prepared. The CA FAIR Plan home insurance carrier recently approved discounts for Wildfire Hardening. If you are a CA FAIR Plan policyholder, talk to your agent or broker about these new discounts that are available for homeowners that meet the new requirements. Rancho Cal Insurance Services is here to help our community understand the importance of home hardening and help homeowners protect their home.