Is Your Home Protected From Wildfire Damage?

How Your Home Catches Fire
There are three ways that the wildfire can transfer itself from the natural vegetation or other burning homes to your home - through radiation, convection or firebrands.

Radiation: Wildfires can spread to your home by radiating heat in the same way a radiator heats your rooms in the wintertime. Radiated heat is capable of igniting combustible materials from distances of 100 feet or more.

Convection: Contact with the convection column (flames) may also cause the wildfire to ignite your house. Typically, the convective heat column rises vertically, within the smoke plume.

Firebrands: Firebrands are burning materials that detach from a fire during strong convection drafts in the burning zone. Firebrands can be carried long distances - more than a mile - by the winds associated with the wildfire.
In all cases, your home’s building materials and design play a significant role in establishing the level of exposure that can be endured before ignition from radiation, convection, firebrands or any combination of these three.

Taking Inventory - Is Your Property at Risk?
The first step in establishing your risk is to assess your property. The table on page 5 lists numerous factors and issues that you should consider.
This assessment will give you a good sense of your property’s wildfire risk.

What’s Your Risk Level?
The rough categories that follow on page 6 are not meant to give you an absolute score, but are to help guide you when deciding how to best protect your home.

What You Can Do To Reduce Your Risk?
Homes in a wildland/urban interface area can be designed and maintained to increase the chances of surviving a wildfire without the intervention of the fire department.

This guide will help you protect your home on two different fronts:
  • Your Home’s Landscape
  • Your Home’s Building Materials and Design
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