Depending on where you live in California, contending with wildfires can be a regular concern. If a fire reaches your home, it can end with lost property and expensive repair costs. If you suspect that the fire was caused from someone’s else negligence, you should contact an experienced California wildfire damage attorney at Panish | Shea | Boyle | Ravipudi LLP to help with your case!
You may not be able to prevent a natural spark from starting a fire in the wilderness, but you can protect your home. Doing what you can to fireproof your home ahead of time can save you from great loss, or at least minimize the damages. Here are some important tips to help protect your house, property, and loved ones.
#1. Pay Attention to Greenery
Having a garden or greenery in your yard can be beautiful, but it can also be dangerous. Unattended plants have a high risk of drying out, especially during wildfire season. A dried-out lawn or garden can catch on fire easily, leading the fire straight to your home. To decrease this risk, keep any greenery or gardens at least thirty feet from your home and keep them well watered.
Coniferous trees, such as firs and pines, contain a highly flammable sap. It’s best to clean up any fallen branches or even relocate trees that are too close to your home.
#2. Use Fire-Retardant Chemicals
Consider using a fire-retardant chemical spray around your property. Such chemicals can create chemical reactions that slow fires or even create a barrier between the fire and your home.
#3. Tend to Your Roof
Many wildfires run along the ground, but sparks can fly and make their way onto your roof. Complex roofs with lots of ridges can catch a spark, allowing it to grow inside the roof. These gaps can also leave spaces for birds’ nests, which ignite easily. Regular cleaning and repairs can prevent gaps from opening, and bird stop can seal open edges to keep flammable materials from building inside your roof.
If it’s time for roof repair, consider tile or metal materials instead of wood. Both tile and metal resist fire and are worth the money when it comes to protecting your home.
Regular cleaning of your gutters can also prevent flammable materials from building up and igniting once encountering a spark.
#4. Check the Outside of Your Home
If you have the chance to pick out materials for your home, brick and stone resist fire much better than wood. Fire-retardant paints can also help on any type of surface. No matter what materials make up your home, a brick or mortar finish along the bottom will slow ground fires from reaching your home.
#5. Relocate Flammable Materials
If you have a lawnmower, its gas tank can create a substantial fire hazard. During fire season, move your lawnmower and any extra fuel into the garage or basement. If this isn’t possible, keep the lawnmower away from the house to avoid damages from explosions in a fire. The same applies to gas powered outdoor grills.
#6. Tend to Indoors
Wildfires may approach from the outside, but that doesn’t mean you can’t also fireproof your home from the inside. Making sure your smoke detectors are in working order can save your life if a spark catches on the outside of your home. Keeping a fire extinguisher nearby can help eliminate sparks before they catch.
Cleaning up any scattered trash is also essential. Something as simple as a stray delivery box is very flammable and can keep a fire going even longer. Take regular steps to pick up any trash around the inside and outside of your home.
Be sure to build an emergency plan with your family so that you can escape if a fire does break out in your home. It can also help to keep important documents in a bag or in the car so that you do not waste time trying to get them if you need to evacuate. The measures above can help reduce the risk of a fire, but they do not make your home invincible. It’s always best to prioritize your safety.