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Fire Smart tips to protect your home from fire damage

Homeowners should remove debris from their yards and seal vents and doors before vacating
Photo provided by Windermere

As fires rage across the province, homeowners can take steps to protect their properties from damage.

Fire Smart B.C encourages people to remove combustibles from their properties and to check roof vents, foundations and exterior walls to prevent embers from entering the home.

Here are some Fire Smart tips:

Protecting your yard

  • Leaves, pine needles and other debris should be removed from the roof and gutters.
  • Grass that lies within 10m of the house, should be mowed so that it is less than 10cm in length.
  • Dead plants, leaves and weeds that lie within 10m of the house should be cleared from the property.
  • Property owners should sweep or rake down to mineral soil, rock or concrete near the house to create a 1.5m non- combustible zone.
  • Toys, patio furniture, cushions, firewood, potted plants and other decorative items that lie within 10m of the house should be moved into the house or garage.
  • Propane tanks should be moved 10m away from any structures, and weeds and debris should be removed from the area around it.
  • Weeds and debris near the fence line should be cleared
  • Gates should be left open when evacuating
Protecting your home
  • If you have vents in your attic or crawl space, check to see if they are screened and in good repair. If the vents have three millimetres of mesh screening or are damaged, cover the vents with duct or metal tape.
  • Cardboard boxes and other combustible materials located near attic or crawlspace vents should be moved. If this is not possible, tape should be placed over the vents. Vents should not be covered unless you are planning to leave the house.
  • Dryer vents and air-openings for furnaces that have a plywood cover should be covered with metal or duct tape prior to evacuation.
  • Air conditioning, water and electricity should be turned off prior to evacuation
  • Gaps around doors and windows should be sealed with duct tape prior to evacuation

About the Author: Gillian Francis

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