There are three threats or exposures that a building can experience during a wildfire, grassfire or brushfire: windborne embers, radiant heat, and direct flame contact. When considering the vulnerability of your home or business to wildfire, you need to evaluate and address all three potential exposures.
Ember exposure is considered the most important, because most building ignitions have been attributed to them. Embers can ignite building components and contents directly, or ignite vegetation and other combustible items adjacent to or near a building; this then can result in a radiant heat and/or direct flame contact exposure. For example, embers may land on and ignite debris that has accumulated in your gutter. The burning debris then causes direct flame contact on the edge of the roof. Or, embers that ignite nearby vegetation could result in a radiant heat exposure to the side of a building, potentially igniting combustible siding or breaking the glass in a window. The opening from broken glass then would allow embers to enter the building and ignite combustible materials, such as carpeting or furniture.
IBHS co-hosted a Congressional Delegation and South Carolina Gov. Haley on Nov. 12, 2013 to discuss building more disaster-resistant communities, and demonstrate on-going IBHS research, including a wildfire test demonstration.
Identify, create and maintain three zones to keep wildfire from igniting vegetation and structures.
Resources to protect your deck, patio, or porch from wildfire damage.
The new Know Your Plan app gives you the mobile power and organization to help keep your family and your home safer during a disaster.
Solutions for evaluating risks and preventing entry of ember and flames.
A summary of findings from the 2011 wildfire testing at the IBHS Research Center.
Download IBHS Wildfire Publications
Resources to reduce your risk of roof damage during a wildfire.
Solutions for preventing damage due to blowing embers and exposure to radiant heat and flames.