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How-To Fireproof Your Home

Whether you live in an area with wildfire risks, or simply want to know how to properly plan for a potential fire, knowing how to build a fire wall in and around you home could potentially save your property one day. Here are a few tips for starting:

Build a barrier. Try and create a barrier around your home using materials that don't easily catch flame, such as a slate patio, concrete walk up, or gravel.  Aim for a border of 100 feet around your home. You should also move any single standing wood structures such as sheds or swingsets back.  

Clean weeds, brush and undergrowth. While it may seem easy to dump dry brush around the perimeters of your yard after weeding or mowing, you may inadvertently be creating fire fuel leading up to your home. Properly get rid of dry leaves, trimmings and brush, moving them off site and minimizing dry matter around your home.

Add fire resistant plants. Plants with high moisture content and low resin can actually help stave off fire. Inquire with a specialist about what may work in your area, and plant them around your 100-foot border.

Build with fireproof materials. This is more helpful if you're building, renovating, or choosing a home in a high fire area. Avoid using all wood material in your home, and consider options such as tin or concrete panels that have fire resistant foam in the middle. Pay special attention to your roof and siding, if you can. Use tile, metal, stucco or stone over wood. And avoid large wood decks, opting instead for synthetic material that are slower to burn.

A word on windows. Fire often enters homes through the window, so pay mind to yours by choosing double pane glass and metal window frames, not wood.

Create easy access for help. This is especially important if you do live in a high fire-risk zone. Make sure a fire truck can arrive at your home with ease by having a well-paved drive and removing obstacles like gates or carports.

Declutter. Fire is the perfect excuse for purging your home. Boxes of old clothes, photos and papers are the perfect fire fuel, so donate, clear, and remove all that you can.

Practice fire safety. While most of these tips have focused on fire coming from outside your home, pay mind to activity inside as well. Replace old appliances, avoid leaving candles burning when you're not in the room, never place lamps or bulbs too close to your curtains, and ensure your fire alarm is working.

As a Member of the Top 5 in Real Estate Network®, I, along with my team, have a wealth of real estate and homeownership information that may be of help to you. Feel free to contact our team any time to learn more about this important information, and be sure to forward this article on to any friends or family that may be interested as well.

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