Construction Tips To Save Your New Home From Potential Wildfires

Posted on: 14 April 2015

Building your new home in a wooded site gives you many advantages – it's peaceful, close to nature, and the views are great. It can also come with one major concern – wildfires. Working closely with your builder during construction and putting in some safety features can help mitigate the risk if your home is ever in danger.

Protect the Roof

Homes can fall to wildfires because of blowing embers, even if the home isn't in the direct path of the burn. There are two ways you can decrease ember fires at the time of construction.

First and foremost, use ember-resistant attic vents. This ensures embers aren't pulled into your attic to start a fire. Second, opt for a metal roof - they won't catch fire at all.

Consider Your Materials

Unless your heart is set on a log cabin, you may want to opt for a more flame-resistant material for a forest home. Stucco, brick, and concrete are the main options.

Minimizing flammable exterior materials can still help prevent a fire, even if you opt for a wood-built home. For example, opt for a concrete patio instead of a wooden deck. Use metal trim instead of wood. Also, avoid building designs with multiple nooks and crannies that could capture embers.

Manage Your Storage

Many homes in wooded areas take advantage of wood heat and fireplaces. If you go for this option, make sure the wood shed is located at least 30 feet away from your home. You may also want to place outdoor entertainment areas that contain grills and wooden patio furniture at the same distance. All of these materials are highly flammable, so you don't want them too close in the event of a wildfire.

Skip the Clearcut

It may seem tempting to clear out every speck of vegetation near your home, but that's a recipe for disaster. Stripping the ground to the dirt only encourages weeds. Most weeds have a short life cycle, so before you know it there is a bunch of dry fuel around your home.

Instead, plan out your landscape with your landscape contractor so that it uses plenty of native plants. A well-watered and regularly mowed green lawn is also more fire resistant than bare ground. Choose low-growing, healthy green plants for the main landscaping near the home. Keep deadwood and overgrown plants thinned and cleared out. You should also add hardscaping, such as garden walls, drives, and paths. These break up the landscape so there isn't constant fuel to feed a potential fire. For more information about fire protection, contact The Safety Team Inc.