Ramesh Rao Blog November 29, 2023

Learn the 10 steps to being Safer from Wildfires

Every action under Safer from Wildfires will qualify you for an insurance discount. By doing more, you can save more. Read the full text of the new Safer from Wildfires insurance regulation.

  • Class-A fire rated roof – Most roofs qualify including asphalt shingles, concrete, brick, or masonry tiles, and metal shingles or sheets. Wood shake shingles are not Class A fire-resistant rated.The Office of the State Fire Marshal maintains a list of tested and approved materials.
  • 5 foot ember resistant zone, including fencing – Removing greenery and replacing wood chips with stone or decomposed granite 5 feet around your home prevents fire from getting a foot in the door. Replacing wood fencing connecting to your home with metal is critical because it can act like a candle wick leading fire straight to your home.
  • Ember- and fire-resistant vents – Installing 1/16 to 1/8 inch noncombustible, corrosion-resistant metal mesh screens over exterior vents can keep wind-blown embers out of your house.
  • Non-combustible 6 inches at the bottom of exterior walls – Having a minimum of 6 vertical inches measured from the ground up and from any attached horizontal surface like a deck can stop embers from accumulating and igniting your walls. Noncombustible materials include brick, stone, fiber-cement siding or concrete.
  • Enclosed eaves – Installing soffits under your eaves can prevent heat and embers from getting trapped and igniting. When enclosing eaves, non-combustible or ignition resistant materials are recommended.
  • Upgraded windows – Multi-paned windows are more resistant to breaking during a wildfire, which helps keep flames from entering. Multi-paned glass or added shutters all qualify.
  • Cleared vegetation, weeds and debris from under decks – Noncombustible materials like concrete, gravel, or bare soil are permitted.
  • Removal of combustible sheds and other outbuildings to at least a distance of 30 feet – These include sheds, gazebos, accessory dwelling units (ADUs), open covered structures with a solid roof, dog houses and playhouses.
  • Defensible space compliance – following state and local laws requiring defensible space including trimming trees and removal of brush and debris from yard. See CAL FIRE’s defensible space page and your local city or county for details.
  • Being safer together – Safer from Wildfires recognizes two community-wide programs, Firewise USA and Fire Risk Reduction Communities as small as 8 dwelling units or as big as 2,500 can create an action plan and start being safer together. Firewise USA is a nationally recognized program with proven results, sponsored by the National Fire Prevention Association.
  • Learn how to Start a Firewise Community