For the residents of San Diego County, the threat of fire can be a constant source of anxiety. Southern California is one of the most at risk areas for wildfires in the country, especially during a fall/winter dry spell. Knowing how to protect your home properly is an invaluable resource. For this reason, we at Clean Earth wanted to take a moment to talk about some of the best ways to protect your property from fire and smoke damage.
One of the biggest factors in home safety when it comes to wildfires is location. Homes located on the slopes of hills and valleys are often more at risk for rapidly spreading wildfires because of this geography’s interactions with the wind. Winds push fires through the path of least resistance, which can frequently concentrate fires on the sides of hills and valleys, especially if the fire came from a higher altitude than the surrounding area. This was a major factor in the fires that recently tore through the hills by Burbank and Santa Barbara.
Unfortunately for many residents of San Diego County, a large portion of residential housing is built on the sides and bottoms of hills, especially in the north-eastern portions of the county like Poway, Escondido and San Marcos. Since location isn’t always an option, there are a couple other preventative measures that can be taken to secure a property.
Landscaping can be one of the most useful defenses from wildfires, especially on larger properties in hilly areas. As a general rule, trees and other foliage should be planted as far from the main structure as possible. One of the biggest causes of structure fires is embers landing on flammable portions of the building. This can be easily prevented by distancing flammable foliage 50-100 feet from the structure.
Succulents and other high water content plants are often recommended as they aren’t as dangerous as larger bushes and trees that can easily dry out in the Southern California weather and create dangerous hazards. Ditching grass for gravel or rock features can also be a great way to protect your homes and businesses.
As a final line of defense against fire, many Southern California residents may employ outdoor sprinkler systems to dampen the home and the area around it and ultimately prevent embers from igniting normally flammable structures or foliage. These systems are sometimes built on the roofs of houses and have shown to be effective at preventing the spread of embers to a property.
The main downfall of these systems is mainly in their cost and rarity in commercial properties. Make sure when purchasing or renting a property in a high risk area that the seller or property manager has taken the proper measures to lower the risk of property loss in a wildfire.
Even when all of the above precautions are taken, property loss still may occur, and that’s where we come in. Clean Earth Restorations is your one-stop shop for the repair and restoration of all fire and smoke damage to a property. If you have any questions, call us today.