IBHS Urges Texans to Prepare For Wildfires
A test conducted by IBHS showing danger areas on your home that you should focus on to prepare for possible wildfire.
Sixty percent of Texas remains in severe or worse drought conditions, the Texas Water Development Board recently said in its drought report. The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) reminds Texans, and residents of other wildfire-prone states, that with these extreme dry conditions, now is the time to prepare your property for the possibility of wildfires.
Here are several important places to focus on and around your property.
Defensible Space Zones around your Home or Business:
- Create defensible space zones around your structure. Each zone acts as a layer of protection between your house or business and the approaching wildfire. Fine more detail about Defensible Space Zones.
- Move combustible materials and structures more than 30 feet from your building. This includes wood structures (including play sets), boats, trailers, fences, firewood piles and propane tanks.
- Remove dead vegetation from plants and trees and remove lower branches from tall trees.
- Replace your landscape covering with noncombustible mulches, including rock, gravel, and noncombustible hardscape features, such as brick and concrete walkways and surfacing.
- Thin out trees on your property to reduce the chances that fire will spread from one tree crown to the next.
- Clean out gutters; clear vegetative debris off your roof and around your structure.
- Caulk any gaps between the blocking that fills the space between exposed roof rafters and any adjacent members.
- Install metal angle flashing at the edge of the roof.
- Cover gable end, crawl space and eave vents in open eave framing with 1/8-inch metal mesh screens.
- Plug all gaps between the roof covering and roof deck at the roof edges. Remember an edge also can occur at the ridge or hip of the roof.
- If you have dormers, consider replacing combustible siding there with a noncombustible material, such as a fiber cement product.
- Consider replacing your roof with a Class A fire-rated roof.
- Clean out debris in gaps between deck boards and where the deck connects to the house.
- Enclose the bottom of elevated decks if you need to store combustible materials in that location.
- Replace single-pane windows with multi-pane, tempered glass windows. Screen all windows.
- Inspect the condition and attachment of screening on windows and on vents in the attic and crawl space; keep screens clear of debris.
- If you have combustible siding, install metal flashing at the intersection between the deck and siding; tuck the flashing behind the siding at a lap joint.
IBHS offers additional wildfire information and tools:
© 2012 Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety