Make Your Home Fire Resistant
San Diego County is particularly at risk for urban wildfires because our beautiful canyons make for hundreds of linear miles of Wildland Urban Interface (WUI). This is where the suburbs met the wilderness.
Many of these canyons are filled with old, dry growth. Since fire burns uphill faster, homes at the tops of these canyon slopes are at risk. Embers can also pose a significant threat to nearby neighborhoods, even as far as a mile away.
Fortunately, there is something homeowners can do to mitigate their risk. Studies show that up to 80 percent of homes could have been saved from wildfires if some simple steps had been taken.
Defensible Space Can Make Your Home Fire Resistant
One of the best ways to help firefighters and protect your home is to make sure your home is surrounded by a defensible space or buffer zone. By clearing 100 feet from your home of any weeds, brush, or flammable items, it can help keep the flames away from your home. This is a great way to make your home fire resistant.
San Diego Fire Code Building Regulations
The San Diego Fire-Rescue Department also recommends “hardening your home.” This involves identifying the parts of your home at risk and making sure they are protected from embers. For example, in a wildfire your roof is one of the most vulnerable parts of your home. Older homes in San Diego that have wood-shake shingle roofs are particularly at risk because the wood can easily catch fire if an ember lands on them. Instead, it is recommended to use materials like tile, metal or asphalt shingles.
San Diego requires for all new homes or remodels to meet the new fireproofing standards in California’s building code. But older homes that haven’t been retrofitted should be evaluated and updated to meet the new standards.
“Ready, Set, Go!” Guide
To help prepare homes, the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department has created a “Ready, Set, Go!” guide that outlines how to create a defensible space and ways to make your home fire resistant.
Download “Ready, Set, Go!” guide
You can also use San Diego County’s Wildfire Hazard Map to see how at risk your home is for wildfires.