Hardening Your Home to Protect Against Wildfires

[fa icon="calendar"] March 15, 2019 / by Home Services Expert

house_on_wooded_lotThe threat of wildfires is on everyone's mind in Northern California these days. After the tragic and destructive Carr and Camp Fires that swept through the North State in 2018, there is no doubt this is a serious issue. 

One question on many people's minds is "can I do anything to protect my home during a fire?" While conditions surrounding a fire will vary, and there's no guarantee of 100% protection - there are things you can do to harden your home against embers, which can cause a fire on your property even if you are far away from the flames. 

To help you prepare and harden your home, Cal Fire has a list of steps to take to protect your home from wildfires:


Here are some things you can do to harden your home and make it more fire resistant.


The roof is the most vulnerable part of your home. Homes with wood or shingle roofs are at high risk of being destroyed during a wildfire. Build your roof or re-roof with materials such as composition, metal or tile. Block any spaces between roof decking and covering to prevent embers from catching.


Vents on homes create openings for flying embers.
  • Cover all vent openings with 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch metal mesh. Do not use fiberglass or plastic mesh because they can melt and burn.
  • Protect vents in eaves or cornices with baffles to block embers (mesh is not enough).


Eaves and Soffits

Eaves and soffits should be protected with ignition-resistant or non-combustible materials.



Heat from a wildfire can cause windows to break even before the home ignites. This allows burning embers to enter and start fires inside. Single-paned and large windows are particularly vulnerable.

  • Install dual-paned windows with one pane of tempered glass to reduce the chance of breakage in a fire.
  • Consider limiting the size and number of windows that face large areas of vegetation.



Wood products, such as boards, panels or shingles, are common siding materials. However, they are combustible and not good choices for fire-prone areas.

  • Build or remodel your walls with ignition resistant building materials, such as stucco, fiber cement, wall siding, fire retardant, treated wood, or other approved materials.
  • Be sure to extend materials from the foundation to the roof.

Read the rest of the list from Cal Fire at www.readyforwildfire.org.


For additional reading, Cal Fire also has information on creating defensible space and fire resistant landscaping.


At Experts In Your Home, we love our Northern California community and hope these tips can help keep you and your home safe. We like to share information from experts in our areas of specialty and in other areas. We encourage you to take advantage of Cal Fire resources such as the above mentioned pages to help you be informed and ready. 

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