Quick Tips for Home Wildfire Safety from a Sacramento Home Inspection Company

It’s no mystery why, according to the U.S. Census Bureau as reported by the Sacramento Bee, “More people moved to the Sacramento region last year than any other metro area in the state outside of San Bernardino.” The Sacramento home inspection requests are rolling in as more people begin the process of buying a home.

Sacramento has it all: Good schools, low crime, excellent shopping, rivers, and four gorgeous, largely unpopulated forests close by. Unfortunately, all those gorgeous trees and the surrounding steep, rugged terrain have a downside. California has on average, a staggering 5,600 wildfires a year. The Sacramento area has had its share. The good news is, according to the National Fire Protection Association, NFPA.org, you can do a lot to protect your property during a wildfire. A quick inspection of your home in Sacramento, with an eye for fire danger, will help you identify and remedy any undue fire risks.

NFPA says that embers, small burning pieces of airborne debris such as wood, vegetation, and other easily combustible material, are responsible for starting many fires. Since embers are small, they can travel over a mile with the help of wind. When they land on a roof or in a gutter filled with dry leaves and sticks, or any other place where debris has accumulated, embers can ignite a fire. Gutter cleaning and regular roof inspection is a good idea, and if pine needles or other highly flammable debris have accumulated in the gutters or crevices of your roof they should, clearly, be removed.

NFPA has downloadable fact sheets in both English/Spanish to help you understand the how fire prone areas are broken down into zones:

  1. Ignition
  2. Immediate
  3. Intermediate
  4. Extended

Basically, an average home owner should have about 100 feet of defensible space around a structure. This includes:

  • Landscaping
  • Trees and lawns
  • Power lines
  • Firewood – It’s recommended that firewood be kept at least 30 feet from the home. The last thing you want is for your firewood, a source of warmth and comfort during chilly nights, to become the fire that spreads to the house.

If a home is built on a slope, it is advised that you contact your local fire department for suggestions on how to keep it from being a fire hazard. They will be happy to inspect your property and give free advice. Clearing brush, dead or dying trees and debris, and grass from hillsides are incredibly important in fire prone areas. It can be difficult or impossible to completely prevent a fire from affecting your home. But the more defensible space you have the better the chances are that your home will make it through, and far more importantly you will have added time to react and evacuate.

Power lines are a common source of ignition for wildfires and being vigilant about trees on your property and their potential to fall on or come into contact with wires is important. Even if you aren’t sure it’s always best to call your power company to take a look to assess and remedy any potentially hazardous trees or limbs.

Knowing your home and your surroundings is also important. Know how to get out and where you will go if a fire does break out in your area. In addition, you should always have some emergency supplies stashed and ready to go in the event you need to evacuate. Fire safes can help to keep your most important belongings and papers safe.

Additionally, other information that is available for free on websites http://www.sacramentoready.org/ and the American Red Cross Wildfire Check list at www.fire.ca.gov/communications/downloads/fact_sheets/DefensibleSpaceFlyer.pdf provides an illustration of the crucial defensible zones.

Roof, Termite and Home Inspections in Sacramento and the Surrounding Area

HomeGuard Incorporated performs home inspections, roof inspections, and termite inspections in the Sacramento Area as well as providing Natural Hazard Disclosure reports. If you are buying or selling real estate, a knowledgeable, flexible and reliable Sacramento home inspector is just a click or call away. Contact us by phone at 855-331-1900 or contact us on our website.