In our current environmental situation, wildfire outbreaks are a fact of life. But total loss from the effects of a raging fire does not have to be. Those who live or work in regional areas prone to wildfires need to have risk management plans in place to ensure safety, security, and structural stability.
Now is the time to begin the preparation process to safeguard structures. Before a wildfire wreaks havoc in the neighborhood, read through the following effective ways to prepare for wildfire season. This general checklist can help protect valuable places of residence and business.
Understand the Main Destructive Threats: Monitor Risks
Many wildfires occur in the summer season when susceptible areas are increasingly hot and dry. The severity, size, and timing of fires have widened and varied recently due to extended drought and weather conditions, as well as poor vegetation management. Therefore, those in locations vulnerable to unexpected wildfires need to monitor risks year-round. Vigilant monitoring is one of the most effective ways to prepare for wildfire season.
Remember, wildfire damage to homes and businesses occurs from wind-blown burning embers, radiant heat exposure, or direct flame contact. Examining building surfaces—alongside outdoor areas—to eliminate sources can reduce threat levels within the local vicinity.
Establish a First Line of Defense: Defensible Space
Keep in mind that flying embers can destroy buildings miles away from the main fire. For this reason, the first line of defense against damaging wildfires is a lean and clean outdoor landscape. A building always relates to its immediate surroundings; a defensive surrounding hardscape is an essential protective buffer to improve chances of survival.
Defensible spaces help slow and stop the spread of wildfire by creating several safeguarding zones from 0 to 100 feet away. Prepare for the unexpected by avoiding woody vegetation between 0 and 5 feet, overhanging branches and tall grasses between 5 and 10 feet, and dead trees, bushes, or shrubs between 30 and 100 feet.
Build or Retrofit With Fire-Rated Materials: Exterior Protection
Protecting the value of a home or business starts from the outside with exterior structural hardening. Hardening building exteriors involves using non-combustible materials to enhance the structure’s fire resistance.
Roofs, vents, eaves, decks, windows, walls, and other structural elements are all vulnerable to ignition. Using fire-rated materials, paints, and coatings can enhance fire protection and structural integrity in retrofits, building upgrades, new construction, and contract assembly situations.
The Power of a Firefree System: Intumescent Coating
The Firefree Exterior System is a high-performance intumescent coating far ahead of its competitors. This innovative two-part system provides sought-after wildfire protection with certified ASTM fire and weatherization standards. Save excessive labor, material, and project costs with this easy-to-use exterior coating. Learn more about applications for structural wall sidings and building projections on our website.
For other products that can also help with improving the fire protection of a structure exposed to wildfires, please check out the Vulcan vents at www.vulcanvent.com.