Leslie Cain: Protect your home from wildland fire
Fire season is here — which means there is no time to waste in preparing your property to withstand a wildland fire threat. In fact, steps taken now to implement safety measures can help minimize your loss and protect your home and property, so get started now with these helpful tips:
Create defensible space
Limit the amount of flammable vegetation and materials by at least 30 feet around your home, garage, barn and/or outbuildings. Depending on the location of your house, it may be advised that you create up to or more than 100 feet of defensible space.
Cover vents and chimney flues
Vents and flues can create openings for flying embers. Therefore, use metal mesh to cover all vent openings, and chimney and stovepipe flues. Do not use fiberglass or plastic mesh because they can melt or burn.
Keep gutters clean
Make sure your gutters (and roof) are cleared of leaves, twigs, and pine needles. This will help minimize ignition from embers.
Renovate with fire resistant materials
When making renovations to your house consider using ignition-resistant building materials, especially when it comes to roofing and siding.
Dedicate space in garage to fire protection
Have an area in your garage that is dedicated to fire emergencies tools, such as an extinguisher, shovel, rake, bucket and hoe.
Create an easily-accessible water supply
Have multiple garden hoses handy that are long enough to reach all areas around your home and other buildings on your property. If you have a pool or a well, a pump also will work.
Make a plan
Prepare an exit and communication plan in case you have to leave your home quickly. Relay your plans and whereabouts to an out-of-town contact person, and don’t forget to have plans in place for your four-legged family members as well.
Reduce ember threats
According to livingwithfire.info, embers coming into contact with flammable material is one of the main causes of a home being destroyed. The best way to reduce your chances of losing your home in a wildland fire is to prepare your home before a fire starts. If you have a wood shake roof, replace it as soon as possible with a fire-resistant type such as composition, metal or tile. Remove plant debris from under your deck and consider enclosing the open sides with wire mesh. Move firewood stacks at least 30 feet from the house and other out buildings.
While we cannot prevent the wildland fires that might come our way, we certainly can be prepared for the worst-case scenario especially considering the area in which we live.
For homeowner information or to find a licensed real estate professional, contact the Sierra Nevada Realtors at 775-885-7200 or sierranevadarealtors.org. Sierra Nevada Realtors is the voice of real estate in Carson City and the surrounding areas. They are committed to building better communities throughout the region and participating in the political process to protect the industry as well as private property rights.
Leslie Cain is president of Sierra Nevada Realtors and a Realtor with RE/MAX Realty Affiliates in Carson City. Cain has been active in the real estate industry for nearly 14 years and is very passionate about the Northern Nevada community. She holds several certifications including Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR) and Senior’s Real Estate Specialist. Cain can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 775-781-1386.