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How to Protect Your Home From Wildfires

fireWildfires have claimed the homes of hundreds of thousands of people in North America over the past few years, particularly on the western seaboard throughout the United States and Canada. These events have left a lot of people wondering how to protect their home.

While the main objective during a wildfire should always be to get everyone out alive, the loss of a home can be devastating. Here are some of the ways you can protect your house from a wildfire.

Get Enough Insurance

Insurance isn’t just a nice way to protect your goods; it’s a necessity. Not only do you need to have insurance, but you must get enough to cover a rebuild. According to pgelawsuitguide.com, too many people discovered that they had inadequate insurance during the California wildfires and are now involved in an extensive lawsuit to get what they need to rebuild.

Insurance won’t bring back the pictures and memories you lose during a fire. It won’t cover the emotional trauma you experience or the wide range of emotions you feel about the loss. It will, however, allow you to focus on the emotional devastation to begin to move forward, rather than being homeless and financially devastated as well.

Fireproof Your Roof and Siding

One of the main ways fire travels is through embers and sparks catching on flammable objects, particularly a neighboring roof. This is why it’s wise to consider a metal roof if you live in an area where forest fires frequently occur.

You should also look at flame resistant materials for your siding, rather than wood. Vinyl siding can melt, but it won’t ignite into flames, whereas cedar siding will. Of course, depending on the size and proximity of the fire, these things might not make a difference. However, if a fire is blowing in a few miles away, it protects your house against potentially devastating embers.

Create a Boundary Clear of Debris

Try to keep debris a minimum of 30 feet from your house. This includes scrub brushes, outdoor wood piles, trees, etc. If you can, stretch this boundary line further. Not only does this keep anything that could ignite away from your house, but it also creates a safe area in which firemen can work to put out a flame. The quicker they can respond and get to work, the more likely it is that your home will be safe.

Many people opt to install sprinklers within this boundary as well, to offset any radiant heat that comes from a nearby fire. Radiant heat from a neighboring house that has caught fire could get hot enough to ignite your house without dropping any sparks on your roof. Keeping the area damp will help prevent that occurrence.

Seal Your Intakes and Windows

In the event of a wildfire in your area, one of the first things you should do is seal your intake vents and openings, such as pet doors, windows, and any cracks in your exterior. Know where all of these openings are so that you can seal them efficiently. This prevents embers from getting into your house and igniting it from the inside.

If you live in an area that’s subject to wildfires, consider installing metal shutters to close over your windows. Glass can break in extreme temperatures, letting the fire inside. Additionally, if the radiant heat is high enough, the glass doesn’t have to break to catch your drapes and curtains on fire. When you have to replace your windows or if you’re building a home, use tempered glass and heat resistant curtains.

Never put yourself in danger to secure your home. Sometimes, even with the best efforts, the fire will win. That’s why having the right insurance coverage is essential so that when the damage is done, you can get on with your life.

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