Wildfire Basics

Posted on Apr 21, 2014

Few people realize that when they move to the edges of into a wilderness area, they move into the domain of wildfires. Even though Wildfiresyou may live in a thoroughly contemporary suburb, if you can look away into open country, brush or deep woods, you’re vulnerable during hot and dry seasons.

According to the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety, one-third of U.S. homes are located in the Wildland Urban Interface, areas that combine housing developments with natural topography, trees and other vegetation. In recent years, homes and businesses in these areas have become common casualties of hard-to-control wildfires.

If you live or have a business in one of these areas, it’s a good idea to review your Allied Insurance policy to make sure you’re covered in the event of a wildfire, and to take appropriate wildfire safety measures to protect your property.

Quick Tips for Preparing Your Home or Business for Wildfires

MAINTENANCE

  • Clean out gutters; clear vegetative debris off your roof and around your home.FireAdaptedCommunity
  • Remove dead vegetation from plants and remove lower branches from tall trees.
  • Inspect the condition and attachment of screening on windows and on vents in the attic and crawl space; keep screens clear of debris. Avoid applying paint to vent screens when painting your house.
  • Move lumber and other combustible materials stored next to the house and under the deck to a location more than 30 ft. from your house.
  • Clean out debris in gaps between deck boards and where the deck connects to the house.
  • Caulk any gaps between the blocking that fills the space between exposed roof rafters and any adjacent members.

RETROFITTING

  • If you have an untreated wood shake roof, replace it with a Class A fire-rated roof.
  • Install metal angle flashing at the edge of the roof.
  • Box-in eaves that have an open-eave construction (i.e., where rafter tails are visible).
  • Plug all gaps between the roof covering and roof deck at the roof edges. Remember an edge also can occur at the ridge or hip of the roof.
  • If you have combustible siding, install metal flashing at the intersection between the deck and siding; tuck the flashing behind the siding at a lap joint.
  • If you have dormers, replace combustible siding there with a noncombustible material, such as a fiber cement product.
  • Replace single-pane windows with multi-pane, tempered glass windows. Screen all windows.

 

Reprinted courtesy of Allied Insurance