Fire is a threat to all homes, whether they be a single family dwelling or a multi-family complex. A home insurance can help protect you from the unexpected expenses a fire can cause, but it’s really important to make sure your home is safe for you and your family.
How to fireproof your home is something that all should be taking action towards. You can accomplish this by some simple things that all of us can do.
Start with the yard
If you look into your yard, you will see that there are some things you can do to reduce the risk of fire.
Remove Dry Vegetation – Dry leaves and dead grass are very combustible and a spark from a cigarette, lighting or another electrical source can cause a fire. Rake up your leaves, grass and other vegetation that may have accumulated.
Look At Your Trees – Pine and Fir trees, as well as some others, contain sap which is highly flammable. Ensure that you keep the branches a safe distance from the ground and at a safe distance from your structure. A highly combustible tree next to any structure is a fire threat especially in the summer season if they become dry.
Plan Your Trees Or Plants – There are some species of trees and plants that are resistant to fire. They are not immune to catching fire, but it will take more for them to catch on fire than others. Some of these are Sycamore, Yucca, Agave, and Lavender. Remember that not all plants and trees are able to grow in all environments. Speak to your local garden center or landscaper for advice on which fire-resistant vegetation will grow in your area.
Check Your Grass – Lawns will mostly go dormant in the winter. This will cause dry grass to remain on the surface. Ensure that you cut your grass to a short length before the winter to reduce the fire hazard.
The Government of British Columbia published a manual with important information about wildfire and ways of protecting your home from fires.
Fireproof Your Home
Most fires run along surfaces, but if a fire has a combustible source that is vertical, like trees or a trellis, a fire can spread up just as fast as along the ground.
Wet Down Your Roof – Flying sparks can cause roofs made of combustible material to catch fire easily. A damp or wet roof can help prevent fires from catching hold. Hose down your roof if your in a situation where this may occur.
Roofing Materials – When you are replacing your roof or even considering this, investigate metal or tile materials. Both are not flammable and will help with being a deterrent for sparks and embers that may land on them. One thing to consider is that these types of roofs are more expensive than wood or shingles but they will last years longer.
Home Exterior – Wood siding or cedar shake may look fantastic, but both are very flammable. Brick or non-wood siding are both good choices to reduce the flammability of your home.
Check Smoke Detectors – Smoke detectors save lives, there is no doubt about that. Check your batteries twice a year and test them once a month. This simple task may seem a chore, but the 5 minutes it will take may save the life of a loved one.
Have A Fire Extinguisher – Why anyone would not have a fire extinguisher in their home is unfathomable. Having a fire extinguisher can make a small fire not become a house and life-threatening situation. You can get an inexpensive fire extinguisher at most home supply stores.
Smoker? – If you are a smoker, be careful where you putt your butts out. Use a can with water or sand to ensure they are completely out.
Fire Pits – Do not use a fire pit in your yard if the weather is dry and you have anything combustible near the pit.
Photos – Ensure that you have pictures of the inside and outside of your house. These will be invaluable if you need to submit a Home Insurance claim.
If You Have To Evacuate
If a fire happens, you may need to evacuate from your home. Be prepared and have an emergency kit available. Your emergency kit should have a small bag of clothes, medications and anything else you may need. Ensure that you have kits packed for your children and pets as well. Have a location to go, it can be with friends, family or a nearby hotel.
Have an emergency phone list, a charged cell phone and possibly a battery charger for your phone.
Put your important papers is a location where they can be quickly grabbed. Having these can save you valuable time if you need to deal with your insurance, bank or other institutions.
One thing to remember is that no plan is 100% perfect. You can prepare for all that is mentioned above and more but if the fire situation is extreme enough, nothing may help. But remember that if an emergency is happening, these tips may save you enough time to get all of your loved ones to safety. We hope that this will help you fireproof your home.
A home insurance can protect your home and family from unexpected expenses. At AMC we shop for the best rate for you. Contact us to get a free quote.
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