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Minimize Your Risk To Wildfires

  • Learn more about in PURE's Wildfire Mitigation Program for pre-fire and emergency response services intended to reduce, or even prevent, loss from wildfire. PURE members residing in AZ, CA, CO, MT, NM, NV, OR, TX, UT, WA and WY are automatically enrolled in the program.
     
  • Schedule a complimentary property inspection with one of our Risk Managers or our wildfire mitigation partners to identify potential vulnerabilities to wildfire. If warranted, we will recommend steps you can take to help safeguard the space around your home, including suggestions for landscaping and building materials, landscape maintenance, pre-season perimeter sprays, and evacuation planning. The PURE Member Advocate® can help schedule this inspection and coordinate the implementation of any recommendations for your property, often at discounted rates, with proven, well-qualified providers.
     
  • Use noncombustible roofing materials. The roof has a significant impact on a home’s ignitability because of its extensive surface area. If a flying ember lands on a wood shake roof, the chances of the home withstanding a fire are small. Roofs should be constructed of noncombustible or fire resistant materials. If you prefer the look of wood shake over masonry types, metal and slate, consider Polymer roof tiles. They look and feel like cedar shake but are fire resistant and more durable.
     
  • Vents, eaves and other openings should be fire safe. These and other openings are vulnerable entry points for embers and flames. Embers can enter a home through these openings and ignite contents inside. To better protect your home, make sure vents are louvered or covered with a protective wire screen with openings no larger than 1/8 inch. It is important to keep the screen free of debris. Eaves should be boxed or covered with a soffit to help deflect fire. Also use mesh screen beneath porches, decks, floor areas, and the home itself. Be sure to keep the area under an enclosed deck clean and free of debris, which can easily fall through the slats.
     
  • Consider replacing windows to dual pane and or triple pane tempered glass. Tempered glass has been tested under wildfire and has a higher resiliency to radiant heat. Replace window screens with 1/16 inch metal screen. (Vinyl screens melt and can compromise the siding and the window.)
     
  • Install dual-sensor smoke alarms. One should be placed on each level of your home, especially near bedrooms; test monthly and change the batteries at least once each year.
     
  • Teach each family member how to use a fire extinguisher (ABC type) and show them where it's kept.
     
  • Keep household items that can be used as fire tools easily accessible: a rake, axe, handsaw or chain saw, bucket and shovel.
     
  • Keep a ladder that will reach the roof accessible.
     
  • Consider installing protective shutters or heavy fire-resistant drapes.
     
  • Make sure you have adequate defensible space. Maintaining a defensible space around your home’s perimeter is your first defense against wildfire. This area should be free of fuels, flammable vegetation and any combustibles. Many experts, including the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety, suggest taking a zoned approach to defensible space.
    • Zone 1: 0-5 feet from your home (extend to 30 feet in high risk areas). The objective in this area is to prevent flames from making contact with structures.
      • Select noncombustible mulches including rock and gravel and low-growing plants with high moisture content, and no flammable chemicals or materials.
      • Regularly clear dropped leaves or debris that accumulate at the base of the exterior walls, fences, on and under decks and in gutters.
      • Trees next to homes and over roof lines, decking, and fences should be trimmed so that no limb falls within 8 feet of these objects. (It's important to note that national forest trees over 14 inches in diameter are protected and can’t be removed.)
    • Zone 2: 5-30 feet or to your property line. This area is intended to reduce the amount of radiant heat that comes in contact with your home.
      • The canopy of mature trees should not be within 30 feet of your home. Additionally, there should be at least a 30-foot separation between the canopies at maturity, this way fire cant travel horizontally.
      • Remove all combustible structures and objects from this zone including wood piles, trellises, fences, gases, dead or dying vegetation, etc.
    • Zone 3: 30-100+ feet from your home. This area is intended to reduce the intensity of the approaching wildfires and to reduce a crown fire down to a ground fire.
      • Remove dead plant materials and tree branches.
      • Thin out trees to reduce the chances that fire can spread from one tree crown to the next.
      • Regularly prune trees to reduce ladder fuels which allow fire to climb up the bark and into the upper portion of the tree.
  • Become Firewise. The Firewise Communities/USA Recognition Program empowers neighbors to work together to reduce their wildfire risk. Communities develop a plan to guide their residential risk reduction activities, while engaging and encouraging neighbors to become active participants in building a safer place to live. Neighborhoods throughout the U.S. are embracing the benefits of becoming a recognized Firewise Community. To learn more about becoming Firewise, visit firewise.org.

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