How to protect your home from a wildfire

Last updated: January 1

According to Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS), there are steps you can start taking today to protect your home from wildfires. Keep reading to see how you can help mitigate wildfire risks to your property.

Wildfire safety: Precautions you can take on your property

Outside your home

  • Protect decks, small structures, porches, patios, and detached garages within 30 feet of the home.
    • Remove anything flammable from beneath your deck, such as vegetation, debris, building materials, or any fire-prone items.
    • Enclose open spaces under structures with fire resistant materials, such as metal screening with mesh that’s 1/8 inch or finer.
    • Apply flashing to areas where wood decks or walkways touch combustible siding.
  • Construct external walls with non-combustible material. Avoid using wood or vinyl.
  • Do not attach wood or vinyl fencing directly to structures without flashing.
  • Protect small maintained structures (play sets, sheds, pergolas, etc.) within 30 feet of the home.
    • Place them at least 10 feet away from the home, attached decks, or other structures. Ensure there is five feet of clear space around them.
    • Make sure the bases are built with noncombustible material and enclosed with 1/8 inch or finer mesh.
  • Keep propane tanks more than 10 feet away from the dwelling, other combustible fuel or structures.
  • Keep woodpiles, lumber, and wood debris more than 30 feet away from structures and maintain 10 feet of clear space around them.
  • Create a 100-foot safety zone around your property.
    • Clear any dead trees, vegetation or tree debris such as fallen limbs, leaves, pine needles, or cones.
    • Trim and maintain trees, shrubs and vegetation throughout your property.

Thin out any clusters of trees or shrubs throughout your property.

Inside your home

  • Enclose eaves, facias, soffits, and vents to keep embers out. Screen in vents, louvers, and flanges with 1/8-inch mesh, or finer.
  • Make sure your chimney’s stovepipe or vent has appropriate spark arrestors and/or metal screens.

For even more information on how to protect yourself, family, and property, check out our wildfire preparedness and safety tips.