How Vulnerable is Your Home to Wild Fires?

4/15/2015 1:55:00 PM

Wildfire near houses and hydro lines

Between chimneys and stoves in the winter to keep warm, and barbeques and bonfires in the summer to celebrate the warmer weather, fires are a very real concern for homeowners. However, sometimes one forgets that wild fires can also pose a threat to one’s property. With dry season only a few months away, it’s especially important to start taking precautions ahead of time to minimize the risks. But how can you do this? Consider the following questions.

  1. How fire resistant is your home’s exterior? Have you installed fire resistant windows or used non-combustible materials on the roof and exterior of your dwelling?
  2. Have you fire-proofed your chimney, fireplace, stove pipes, and other fire-prone areas? Has a professional inspector checked them out for safety?
  3. Have you installed a sprinkler system to soak your home’s exterior?

If you’ve answered “no” to any of the questions above, start by taking the necessary measures to protect your home. You can also find a more complete list of precautions on the CBC’s site. Take their questionnaire to find out how vulnerable your home is to wild fire damage.

Here are a few more tips to consider when it comes to fire safety.

  • Plant fire-resistant shrubs and trees around your property. (Below are few examples, but you can find a more extensive list at org).
  • Shrubs: hedging roses, bush honeysuckles, currant, cotoneaster, sumac and shrub apples.
  • Trees: hardwood, maple, poplar, conifer, and cherry trees.
  • In the case of a fire, shut windows, vents, and doors to prevent a draft.
  • Teach your family how to use a fire extinguisher and show them where it is stored.
  • Most importantly, if advised to evacuate, do so immediately! Your life is far more important than material things.

There is no such thing as being completely fire-proof, but being prepared and taking precautions ahead of time can make a big difference when it comes to protecting your home and property.