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How to Protect Your Home From a Wildfire
50 Things You Can Do To Protect Your Home
 
 
No Cost, Just a Little Time
 
Move your firewood pile out of your home’s defensible space.  Store wood more than 10 metres (30 feet) from house, avoiding downslope location.
Perform a FireSmart assessment of your home.
Clean your roof and gutters of leaves and pine needles (best done fall and spring)
Clear the view of your house numbers so it can be easily seen from the street.
Put a hose (at least a 100’ long) on a rack and attach it to an outside faucet.
Remove all coniferous trees, long grass, conifer shrubs, logs, branches for at least 10 metres (30 feet) away from the house, especially if your home is in a high risk area.
Prune all tree branches to a height of 2 metres (6 feet). 
Contact your utility company if trees or branches are not clear of power lines.
Remove trees along the driveway to make it 4 metres (12’) wide to accomodate emergency vehicles.
Prune branches overhanging the driveway to have 4.5 metres (14’) high
Maintain a green lawn for 10 metres (30’) around your home that is mowed and watered.
Relocate propane tanks inside the defensible space but at least 10’ away from the house.

Have flammable liquids and propane tanks stored on non-flammable ground cover such as gravel around them for at least 10’.

If you are building a new home, talk to the developer and local zoning officials about building standards and materials recommended to reduce your risk of loss in the event of a wildfire.

Plan and discuss an escape plan with your family. Have a practice drill. Include your pets, often forgotten in wildfire evacuations.

Get involved to know your community’s disaster mitigation plans.

Check your fire extinguishers. Are they still charged? Are they easy to get to in an emergency? Does everyone in the family know where they are and how to use them?

Clear deadwood and dense flammable vegetation from your home’s defensible space.

Review your homeowner’s insurance policy for adequate coverage. Consult your insurance agent about costs of rebuilding and repairs in your area.

Talk to your children about not starting fires or playing with matches.

If you have a burn barrel that you use for trash, STOP!

Compost leaves in the fall, don’t burn them.

If you burn your brush piles or grass, get a burning permit if you are in municipal boundaries. If you are outside municipal boundaries, check BC Forestry regulations regarding burning in your area.

Always have a shovel on hand and hook up the garden hose BEFORE you start the fire.

Never burn if the some and flames are blowing towards your home, your neighbors’ home, forested areas or any other combustible material.

Be a FireSmart advocate. Tell others of the dangers and risks, leading them by example.

Minimal Cost Actions ($10 - $250 and a little time)
Install highly visible house numbers (at least 4” tall) on your home.
Install big, highly visible house numbers (at least 4” tall) at the entrance of the driveway onto the street / highway if numbers on the house are not visible from the roadway. Use non-flammable materials and posts.
Install metal screens on all attic, foundation and other openings on your home to prevent accumulation of leaves and needles.  This includes undersides of balconies, decks and crawlspaces shethed with flame resistent materials.
Hold a neighborhood meeting to talk about wildfire safety. Invite your local fire chief or fire department representative. Have coffee and doughnuts for neighbors.
Install a fire extinguisher in the kitchen AND the garage.
Replace conifer and evergreen shrubs with low-flammable plants in your home’s defensible space.
Thin trees (3 to 6 metres between crowns) for at least 30 metres from house.
Purchase and use a NOAA weather alert radio. Many types of emergencies are announced through this service.
Replace vinyl gutters and downspouts with non-flammable, metal gutters and downspouts.
Install spark arrestor or heavy wire screen with opening less than ½” on wood burning fireplaces and chimneys.
Moderate Cost Actions ($250 - $1000 and a little more work)
Build a gravel turn around area near your house big enough to allow a fire truck to turn around.
Join your neighbors in having an additional access road into your neighborhood. Share the costs.
Treat flammable materials like wood roofs, decks and siding with fire retardant chemicals.
Modify driveway gates to accommodate fire trucks. They should be at least 10’ ide and set back at least 30’ from the road. If locked, use a key box purchased through Creston Fire Rescue or use a chain loop with a lock that can be cut in an emergency.
Enclose decks to prevent accumulation of leaves, needles and debris. Include a metal screen with 1/8” mesh opening to prevent sparks from getting under the deck.
High Cost Actions (more than $1000)
Replace your roof with fire retardant roofing, rated Class A, B or C.
Install a roof irrigation system to protect your home’s roof.
Install an independent water supply for a sprinkler system with a non-electric (e.g. propane) powered pump capable of running unattended for 24 hours.
Replace wood or vinyl siding with non-flammable fire resistive material.
Replace single-pane glass windows and plastic skylights with tempered, double pane glass.  The use of solid shutters or metal firescreens will provide increased fire protection for windows and doors.
Box in eaves, facias and soffits with aluminum or steel materials with metal screens to prevent entry of sparks. 
Improve driveway culverts and bridges to accommodate the weight of a firetruck.
Have electric service lines to your house placed underground.
Improve your driveway by straightening sharp curves and filling in sharp dips that would hinder a fire truck.  Driveways over 90 metres require large turnarounds for emergency vehicle access or a secondary access to the property.

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