Streetsmart insurance Blog
Forest fires consume some 8 million acres in the U.S. each year, according to insurance industry sources, with most major fires occurring in western states. The most recent example of the devastation that such fires can cause is of course the wildfires that swept through the Napa Valley in California in October.
If your home is in an at-risk area, take these steps to increase the chances of it surviving a wildfire with minimal damage.
Prepare 'defensible space
"Defensible space" is essentially the last-ditch firebreak immediately around your home. Many fire prevention concepts are organized around the concept of maximizing defensible space.
Essentially, this means maintaining at least 30 feet of space around your home that is free of potential fuel that flying embers may ignite. You should:
For more detailed information about creating a defensible space around your home, read the Colorado State Forest Service guide, "Protecting Your Home from Wildfire - Creating Wildfire Defensible Zones." The guide is available here: http://csfs.colostate.edu/wildfire-mitigation/protect-your-home-property-forest-from-wildfire/
Fireproof your home
Decks and lanais
For more detailed information on fireproofing your home, including information on design and building materials, download the Colorado State Forest Service guide, "FireWise Construction: Site Design and Building Materials." The guide is available here: http://static.colostate.edu/client-files/csfs/pdfs/firewise-construction2012.pdf
Above all, keep yourself and your family safe. Don't try to be a hero and fight a wildfire by yourself with a hose. Do what you can, well before the fire, and know when to leave.
If your home is damaged, don't re-enter until you have been cleared by fire officials to do so.