In most cases, what many people do not seem to realize is that moving to the edges of wilderness also means moving into the territory of wildfires. Albeit the area may be thoroughly a modern suburb, a look into the open country or the deep woods will reveal your vulnerability to wildfires particularly during dry seasons when such fires are common. In the United States for instance, one of the past studies revealed that a third of homes are situated in the Wildland Urban Interface, these are areas with trees, natural topography, and vegetation. Such homes are at high risk of wildfire casualties.
In light of this, those who live in these areas and other areas prone to wildfires should review their homeowners or renters insurance policies to ensure adequate coverage for their property and personal belongings. You can easily do that by considering certain safety steps as those highlighted below.
Resistant construction- So far, this is the best wildfire mitigation strategy for homes. This easy task involves protecting your home both on the inside and outside from wildfire, with seasonal upgrades, which in most cases do not even have to involve a contractor or an engineer. However, if you are planning mega patch-ups to cover for wildfire situations, you should ensure that they are synchronized with the local construction policies and regulations. This process largely involves retrofitting an existing home with or picking various wildfire resistant features when building new homes. Other examples include:
- Pick a location with several entrances and exits, both in the home and the neighborhood to ensure an assured exit or entrance in case most of them are blocked.
- Again, cover attic and the sub-floor vents with non-combustible screening with a mesh size approximately less than 1/8 inch.
- Try every alternative possible just to ensure you avoid flammable materials like wood shingles when building the roof since they can catch fire and facilitate the already worse situation.
Apart from those safety precautions presented above, you can find a lot more information from your local construction consultants as well as the insurance policy agents, just to ensure you are fully covered by the policy when it happens.
Wildfires entail more than just flames; burning embers are another destroyer of homes and property in cases of wildfire. Blown by winds, embers can travel several distances making them a prime threat in wildfire situations. The risks due to stray embers can be reduced by:
- Restrain from using combustible bark and woodchip mulch
- Also, plant native and fire-resistive vegetation where and when necessary
- Be sure to keep grass and vegetation around your home short and well watered.
- In addition, remove all dead and dry branches and leaves around your house and home.
- Finally, situate propane and butane tanks not less than 30 feet from any structure, and maintaining at least 10 feet clearance on the surrounding of the tank. Also, the tank vent should be faced well away from structures.
In conclusion, wildfire risks vary from place to place, as such; it is advisable that you consult your regional emergency personnel and construction consultant together with your insurance policy provider to ensure you are completely safe.