Is your home FireSmart? 10 tips to protect your home from the risk of wildfire.
Spring isn’t the only season when we should think about de-cluttering our homes. In fact, fall is a great time to clean and organize our homes and surrounding land with wildfire safety in mind.
Every year in Canada, wildfires destroy an average of 25,000 square kilometres. Experts predict this will increase over the coming decades with climate change, leading to more drought, longer fire seasons and more lightning strikes.
We’ve all seen the images on the news of the wildfires in Fort McMurray, Alberta and British Columbia. Wildfires like these start small, but can grow and spread quickly. Wind can blow sparks and embers well ahead of the actual fire, igniting brush, trees and homes.
While wildfire season is typically April through October, there are many things you can do year round to make sure your home will be protected in the spring.
We spoke to Laura Stewart, president of FireSmart Canada, who shared her 10 tips for easy actions you can take around your home:
2. Remove all combustibles and plant material within a 1.5-metre area around your home by sweeping or raking the area down to mineral soil, rock or concrete. And don’t forget to get under your deck too.
3. Ensure all vent openings have self-closing flaps, are ember-rated or are covered with 3-millimetre (1/8-inch) metal screening. Routinely check dryer vents and vent openings for accumulated combustible debris. Remove all debris that has built up.
4. Remove all combustible items not in use – such as toys, patio furniture, firewood, cushions, decorative items and potted plants – from your deck and within 1.5 metres of your house, Store them in your home, ember-resistant shed or garage. Don’t store combustibles under your deck.
7. Remove all dead plants, leaves and weeds as well as dead and downed woody debris from the ground on your property. Don’t store firewood, lumber piles, vehicles, propane tanks or other concentrations of combustibles within 10 metres of your home.
If you insure your home with belairdirect and you have any questions about your coverage, get in touch with us. Download the FireSmart app for more great info, including FireSmart building materials if you’re building or renovating a home. Kick off your fall cleaning by downloading the app on the App Store or Google Play.
We’re building a more climate-resilient society by helping protect Canadians from natural disasters. One of the ways we are doing this is with our Adaptation Action Grants, which FireSmart Canada received in 2018. This year, we’re investing $1 million in charities that are developing practical and effective solutions that help protect people and communities from floods, wildfires, extreme heat, wind or hail. You can learn more and apply for a grant online.