Guide to Wildfire Safety

Protecting Your Home

The best way to protect your home is to take measures to make sure you never start a wildfire. If you're going to build a campfire, do it in a clearing well away from anything flammable, including vegetation. Never leave the fire unattended and keep a fire extinguisher handy. Don't build fires during the dry season, and never smoke in fire hazard areas.

Adding houses and shrubbery to a known wildfire area often contributes to a fire getting out of hand. If you're building a home in such a place, it's best to situate it so it has some distance from the nearby wooded areas so you can maintain a safety zone around your house. The closer you are to the woods, the more likely the fire is to hop right over to your house. Keep vegetation to a minimum around the house and use fireproof materials in the construction.

If you're moving into a pre-existing home, take measures to make your home fireproof. A roof with fire-resistant shingles is the first line of defense, because if your roof catches on fire, it's highly likely that the rest of the house will go up in smoke. You also can replace windows with tempered glass and replace drywall with a fire-resistant material. These amendments can get pretty pricey, but one of the cheapest things you can do is have a spark arrestor installed on your chimney so fire can't enter your house that way.