On the heels of one of the worst fire seasons in history, anyone living in an area prone to wildfires has cause for concern. It stands to reason that homeowners want to prepare as much as they possibly can before the high risk season arrives. The easiest way to reduce fire risk is to ensure that hot embers cannot enter the home and catch the many flammable household items on fire. Here are few simple improvements to make to protect your home from wildfires.
Cover exterior vent openings
This is one of the simplest ways embers can enter the home. Most homes contain several exterior vents that help ventilate the home from heating and cooling purposes, or for laundry rooms. Exterior vents can be covered with a hardware cloth to ensure that they don’t pose a threat to the home by offering a point of entry for hot embers.
Dog or cat doors should be closed during fire season
Animals lovers want to offer their pets as much comfort and convenience as possible, but dog and cat doors can pose a threat for pets and owners alike. If these pet doors seal properly on their own, they’re of less concern than ones that will remain open without attention and care. If they don’t seal well on their own, it is important to monitor them and likely just keep them closed when the area is at risk to protect your home from wildfires.
Check the roof for weak spots
It is always a good idea to ensure that a roof is sturdy and secure for a number of reasons, but particularly because missing tiles or shingles and cracks can pose threats to a home. Roofs should be checked for these concerns; cracks should be filled and tiles or shingles should be replaced so embers don’t have an opportunity to sneak in through the top of the house.
Secure windows against heat
When the weather is beautiful, a home with many windows can feel bright and open. During a fire, however, windows can be an unsuspecting weak spot. The kind of heat produced by wildfire can melt plastic and crack or burst windows. Certain types of windows, like tempered or double-paned glass, can better withstand this sort of heat, but the best option is to invest in fire attenuation screens. Screens like this will better withstand the heat put off by the wildfire, even if windows can’t; if the glass fails, the screen will continue to protect the home.
Wildfires do not care how many lives they are ruining, they leave nothing but destruction in their wake. As fire seasons seem to get longer and longer each year, it becomes more and more important to take the proper precautionary measures prior to the highest risk times. Homeowners should take care to do their due diligence before it is too late.