Reports from the Center for Disaster Philanthropy indicate that as of October 2021, over 47,000 wildfires occurred, threatening both homes and businesses across more than 6.5 billion acres. Both companies and homeowners must consider how to fortify their buildings in the hopes of mitigating damage to their essential assets. While people cannot nature, owners could reduce the impact. The following are four strategies that could help save your place.
1. Re-Think the Wooden Fence
Old-fashioned wood fences establish a barrier, effectively providing privacy; they do not, however, assist in fire recovery or prevention efforts. They act as a kindle, igniting the flames further and potentially hurting the building further. Instead, install fire-resistant fencing around the perimeter to slow down the blaze and reduce the likelihood of mass destruction.
2. Reduce Vegetation
Shrubs and trees make for beautiful scenery, but they also help the fire more than the homeowner during a wildfire threat. When the word of an outbreak comes through, assess your foliage. FEMA recommends creating at least a 30-foot safety zone around the house or company. Fire spreads as sparks move from one object to another. This distance minimizes the fire’s ability to reach your place,
Consider the following during this effort:
- Trim and thin trees, looking for at least 15 feet of distance
- Remove shrubbery as much as possible
- Eliminate climbing vines from the walls
3. Strengthen the Roofing Materials
Embers often hit the roof, igniting the fire. Consider having roofing specialists look at the current materials, assessing what you could do to make them more flame resistant. Some companies have a fire-proof spray; others in the industry could recommend changing out the shingles to a hardier, more durable material.
When the fire comes near the building, check the vents, chimney and pipes. Install arrestors to the flue and cover the other openings with wire mesh.
4. Eliminate Combustibles
Items that rely on gas or heavy chemicals pose a hazard. Should they ignite, they could create a devasting explosion that worsens the fire’s impact. Move all of these items at least 15 away from the structure. Think about what you have in your garage and porch. Gas grills, cleaning materials and lawnmowers could prove troubling.
Mother Nature controls the wildfire, but you manage what can ignite. Before storms even arise, consider improving the structure’s materials to handle the fire’s intensity. As the blaze approaches, evaluate the building’s impending threats and then reduce potential issues.