Protect Your Home From Wildfire – 6 Things you can do. This information is to help you prepare now while you have the time.
Titus Nelson warns –Protect Your Home From Wildfire, Severe Fire Danger Ahead!
As a former Smokejumper and Southern California Firefighter, Titus Nelson knows October and November are the two most dangerous months for California Wildfires. With the Southern Santa Ana and the Northern Diablo Winds, fires spread at unimaginable speeds and reach incredible sizes. Based on numbers of structures burned, seven of the 10 worst fires in California History have occurred in the month of October. There’s now evidence that climate change is boosting the risk of extreme wildfire conditions in California autumns, according to an August study published in Environmental Research Letters and led by Michael Goss of Stanford University. The fall risk has doubled since the 1980’s. It is now more important than ever to prepare for wildfires. There are a number of things you can do to prepare early and even at the last minute to save your homes…
Protect Your Home From Wildfire –
When you have short notice of impending fire threat, there are temporary things you can do.
- Block the attic vent screens – this is where embers can enter the attic and start a fire inside the house
- Protect exposed wood under the eves of your home.
- Cover your windows to prevent IR heat from igniting materials inside your house.
- Remove flammable materials from around your house
- Set up adjustable RainBird sprinklers to cover the sides and under eves of your house.
- If you have a swimming pool, get a Swimming Pool Fire Pump.
1 – Protect Your Home From Wildfire –
Close over the attic vent screens
One key items to protect Your Home From Wildfire is to cover the vent screens, These are the primary entrance for sparks and embers to enter your attic space and cause a fire. In a pinch you can cover these screens with anything. Metal tape available at any hardware is perfect. It won’t take long to close off all the vents. This closes off the biggest route for burning embers to enter the attic. If you have more time, purchase ember resistant vents. Here are a few sources that I found at Firesafemarin.org just click on the name for the link:
2 – Protect Your Home From Wildfire –
Cover the exposed wood under the eves of your home
Another key item to protect Your Home From Wildfire is to cover eves with fire resistant materials. I have personally seen single homes survive impossible wild fires with all the surrounding homes around them destroyed. At closer look, these homes have the under eves of the roofs covered with stucco, like mine shown below, with no vents into the attic. This is not an expensive modification to do to your home. If you don’t have much time, get some fire resistant wall board, cut it to fit and screw it on under the eves. The shower cement board is even better but harder to cut. From discussions with a fire inspector, this is the most important thing you can do to your home to improve fire survivability. Fire sprinklers under the eves are an excellent idea too that just makes it better.
3 – Protect Your Home From Wildfire –
Cover windows to keep IR heat out of your home.
In a pinch, this Key Item For Wildfire to protect your home are window covers. Just like you see many doing for hurricanes, cover your windows with plywood, or even better, fire resistant wall board. This will prevent the tremendous Infrared heat generated in wild fires from going through windows and igniting material inside. I have personally recommended this to a friend who did just that with plywood on his hillside home in Malibu and this saved his house. The plywood he used was burning slightly when he returned and he was able to put that out easily with a shovel and dirt.
Even better is to install roll shutters. This can be hand operated or electric. Just press a button and the shutters close and lock.
I personally have installed roll shutters on my house, especially on the side of the house exposed to close neighboring houses.
Links to companies that make Roll Shutters
4 – Protect Your Home From Wildfire –
Remove flammable materials from around your house
Another Key Item to Protect Your Home From Wildfire is fire tools for removing flammable materials from around your house may seem obvious, however grasses grow fast and it is easy to overlook. The best time to remove grasses and brush are when they are small and green. Good fire tools make the job easier. I like reliable multipurpose tools that are made for the job such as the Pulaski and the fire shovel. These are the best fire fighting tools made.
Before you leave your house, dig up and place some piles of dirt around your house so that fire fighters can quickly scoop up a shovel full of dirt to throw on parts of your house that might be on fire. Throwing dirt on a fire is one of the most effective means of extinguishing flames.
5 -Protect Your Home From Wildfire –
Set up adjustable RainBird sprinklers to cover the sides and under eves of your house
Before evacuating your house, another Key Item For Wildfire is to set up a portable RainBird sprinkler and set it to spray on the side of your house and under the eves on the side of the house where the fire threat is coming from. If you have time to build in a permanent piping system, this would be even better. Just turn the valve on a go. If you have a sprinkler that you can set up on your roof that is very effective also, especially if your home has shake shingles.
6 – Protect Your Home From Wildfire –
If you have a swimming pool, get a Swimming Pool Fire Pump.
Lastly the most valuable Key Item to Protect Your Home From Wildfire is a fire pump. In addition, one of the best fire pumps for Homeowners is the Homeowner Swimming Pool Fire Pump. As a result of years of engineering and manufacturing experience, this pump is a precision, high pressure pump that will shoot a stream of water up to 250 feet. If you have to leave your home, make sure you pump is set up and ready to go. Notify the fire department that you have a pump and that it is set up. It’s a good idea to have the fire department come out and show them what you have.
If you have a swimming pool pump, they won’t have to send a pumper truck, they can then just send a couple fire fighters and they can use your equipment. The fire department will appreciate your preparedness and are more likely to send someone to save your house. You can get the ultimate fire tool, the Foam Fast Fire Nozzle that works with your swimming pool pump. This nozzle, uses foam cartridges, and sprays foam on shrubs, bushes, and rooftops to provide a long lasting wet foam that resists fire.
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