Prepping Your Home For Wildfire Season

Feel Confident That Your Home is Ready For Wildfire Using Expert Strategies

This year’s wildfires blazed through California and recently threatened homes throughout the Central Coast, making it apparent that the reality of wildfires occurring again could be more prevalent than we think. The very real threat of this year’s fires forced a lot of people to consider how defensible their home is when there is a fire risk.

Wildfires are an impending threat to homes all across California. With 8,834 fire incidents so far this year, the potential of a wildfire can happen at any time at any place. Although we are heading into the Winter months, right now is the best time to prep for wildfires. Make sure your home is prepared now to have peace of mind in the future!

Upgrade and Clean Your Roof 

  • Install a Class A fire-rated roof. This can include nearly all asphalt shingles, clay, and concrete tile roofs.
  • If using gutter covers find ones that are noncombustible 
  • Routinely remove debris from your roof and gutters to limit the chance of ignition by embers

Make Changes to Your Windows

  • Replace single-pane windows with dual or multi-pane windows. Windows with tempered glass are a great choice 
    • Tempered glass is about four times more resistant to breaking during a wildfire.
    • These windows have the added benefits of greater energy conservation and insulation during cooler and warmer months.
  • Install window screens. Both plastic-clad fiberglass and metal screening will reduce radiant exposure to the glass and protect against ember entry, but neither will protect against flames.

Repair and Replace Vents

  • Make sure all vents around your home have a metal screen that is 1/8 inch or finer to block embers from entering and igniting your home. 
  • Check screens periodically and remove accumulated debris, birds’ nests, etc.

Invest in Solar and a Backup Battery 

  • Prepare for potential blackouts during public safety power shutoffs by investing in solar and backup battery systems. 
  • For short-term outages, a single battery can power a typical home for about four to five hours without needing a recharge. 

Create a Defensible Space

  • Maintain these 3 zones around your home, collectively called defensible space.

Zone 1: 0-5ft

  1. Install hard surfaces in this zone (such as a concrete walkway) or use non-combustible mulch products (such as rock mulch).
  2. Regularly water your lawn and plants to prevent dry vegetation in this area.
  3. Remove dead plant material from plants.
  4. Remove plants adjacent to combustible siding and foundation vents, as well as plants under or next to windows and under-eave vents or in interior corners.
  5. Do not store combustibles under the deck.

Zone 2: 5-30ft

  1. Maintain trees and shrubs in well-spaced groupings.
  2. Remove dead material and lower tree branches.
  3. Maintain trees by keeping a minimum horizontal spacing of 10 feet between crowns, with the distance increasing with increasing slope.
  4. Prune limbs and branches to a minimum height of 6 feet off the ground. For shorter trees, pruning should not exceed 1/3 of the tree height.

Zone 3: 30-100ft 

  1. Remove dead plant material and tree branches from vegetation on a regular maintenance schedule.
  2. Create islands or groupings of vegetation.
  3. Remove lower tree branches.
  4. Maintain trees with a minimum horizontal spacing of 10 feet between crown edges.

If you would like more information on how to prepare your home for wildfires, go to or to learn more about how to prepare your home for wildfire. For more information from local experts on ways to increase your home’s safety, check out our list of home & garden professionals at or giving us a call at (805) 772-4600. 

Connect with local experts to help get your home prepared for Wildfires!

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