Home hardening helps reduce fire risk by increasing your home’s resistance to heat, flames, and embers though the use of building materials and installation practices that help protect the vulnerable elements of your house. Several components of the home should be addressed, including the roof, gutters and eaves, vents, siding, windows and doors, and decks, fences, and other attachments. Taking action to harden your home can help reduce the risk of fire damaging your home and is a crucial step in adapting to wildfire.
A home’s survivability in a wildfire is largely based on the building materials, design features, and nearby landscaping. Homes lost to wildfire are most often ignited by embers or small, low-intensity fires. Ember ignition can occur when embers enter the building through vents or an open window. Once inside, embers can ignite furnishings or other combustible materials stored there. Ember ignition can also occur when embers accumulate and ignite combustible parts of the building, such as a wood shake roof, combustible decking, or debris accumulated on a roof or in a gutter. Vegetation or other nearby combustible materials can be ignited by embers, causing a spot fire and subjecting a portion of the siding, windows, or doors to fire.