According to the U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook, drought conditions are expected to linger or intensify in Texas presenting a heightened threat of wildfire. In an effort to help Texas residents reduce their wildfire risk, IBHS offers wildfire preparedness resources found here - http://www.disastersafety.org/wildfire/ - which is available to home and business owners at no charge.
The IBHS has outlined five ways home and business owners can reduce their wildfire risks. The best part, you don’t need a lot of money to do it. Find out what you can do to prepare below, while additional wildfire resources are available at DisasterSafety.org.
FIVE WAYS TO REDUCE YOUR WILDFIRE RISKS
1. Clean Roof
Not only does a clean roof look nice, but it can also reduce your wildfire risks. Embers can travel more than a mile from an actual fire, which can ignite combustible debris on your roof. Be sure to pay attention to areas where the roof meets a vertical surface, such as at a dormer. Also, be safe and never work on your roof if you are uncomfortable.
2. Clean Gutters
Have you cleaned your gutters lately? If not, they could be increasing your risk of wildfire damage. Gutters with combustible debris can be easily ignited by wildfire embers.
3. Clean Deck
Much like the roof and gutters, a deck full of combustible materials increases the risk of wildfire damage. Remember that patio furniture and lawn ornaments can also be combustible, so store them inside when not using the deck. In addition, removing combustible materials from under the deck is critical. If you do store combustible materials under your deck, enclosing the underside of the deck can be an option.
4. Carefully Position Yard Structures
Not only should combustible yard structures be placed away from your home, the area around them should also be maintained using noncombustible materials.
5. Relocate Propane and LP Tanks
Relocate propane tanks at least 30 feet from the home. If this is not possible, create a 10-foot noncombustible zone around the tank.
- IBHS Wildfire Home Assessment & Checklist
- IBHS Wildfire Brochures: Residential, Farms and Ranches
- Wildfire Retrofit Guide – Southeast Edition
Also, IBHS conducted the first-ever indoor ember storm in 2011 at the IBHS Research Center in South Carolina. You can watch video of the test here - Wildfire Ember Storm: http://vimeo.com/22751346.
IBHS is a leading national expert with respect to preparing for – and repairing and rebuilding structures after – a catastrophe to make them more disaster-resistant. To arrange an interview with IBHS, contact Joseph King at 813-675-1045/813-442-2845, firstname.lastname@example.org or via direct message on Twitter @jsalking.
Visit DisasterSafety.org for more information about how to make your buildings more resistant to a variety of disasters, big and small. Follow IBHS on Twitter at @DisasterSafety and on Facebook.
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About the IBHS - IBHS is an independent, nonprofit, scientific research and communications organization supported by the property insurance industry. The organization works to reduce the social and economic effects of natural disasters and other risks on residential and commercial property by conducting building science research and advocating improved construction, maintenance and preparedness practices.