Hardening Your Home
Flying embers destroy homes up to a mile from wildland areas. Prepare (harden) your home now before fire starts. 

Here are some things you can do to harden your home and make it more fire resistant:
Photo of roof showing fire-resistant shingles.Roof: The roof is the most vulnerable part of your home. Homes with wood or shingle roofs are at high risk of being destroyed during a wildfire.
Build your roof or re-roof with materials such as composition, metal or tile. Block any spaces between roof decking and covering to prevent embers from catching.
Vents: Vents on homes create openings for flying embers.
  • Cover all vent openings with 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch metal mesh. Do not use fiberglass or plastic mesh because they can melt and burn.
  • Protect vents in eaves or cornices with baffles to block embers. (Mesh is not enough.)

Eaves and Soffits: Eaves and soffits should be protected with ignition-resistant* or non-combustible materials.
Photo of how showing fire-resistant stucco siding.Windows: Heat from a wildfire can cause windows to break even before the home ignites. This allows burning embers to enter and start fires inside. Single-paned and large windows are particularly vulnerable.
  • Install dual-paned windows with one pane of tempered glass to reduce the chance of breakage in a fire.
  • Consider limiting the size and number of windows that face large areas of vegetation.

Walls: Wood products, such as boards, panels or shingles, are common siding materials. However, they are combustible and not good choices for fire-prone areas.
  • Build or remodel your walls with ignition resistant* building materials, such as stucco, fiber cement, wall siding, fire retardant, treated wood, or other approved materials.
  • Be sure to extend materials from the foundation to the roof.

Decks: Surfaces within 10 feet of the building should be built with ignition-resistant*, non-combustible, or other approved materials.
  • Ensure that all combustible items are removed from underneath your deck.

Rain Gutters: Screen or enclose rain gutters to prevent accumulation of plant debris.
Patio Cover: Use the same ignition-resistant materials for patio coverings as a roof.
Chimney: Cover your chimney and stovepipe outlets with a non-combustible screen. Use metal screen material with openings no smaller than 3/8-inch and no larger than 1/2-inch to prevent embers from escaping and igniting a fire.
Garage: Have a fire extinguisher and tools such as a shovel, rake, bucket, and hoe available for fire emergencies.
  • Install weather stripping around and under the garage door to prevent embers from blowing in.
  • Store all combustible and flammable liquids away from ignition sources.

Fences: Consider using ignition-resistant or non-combustible fence materials to protect your home during a wildfire.
Driveways and Access Roads: Driveways should be built and maintained in accordance with state and local codes to allow fire and emergency vehicles to reach your home. Consider maintaining access roads with a minimum of 10 feet of clearance on either side, allowing for two way traffic.
  • Ensure that all gates open inward and are wide enough to accommodate emergency equipment.
  • Trim trees and shrubs overhanging the road to allow emergency vehicles to pass.

Address: Make sure your address is clearly visible from the road.
Water Supply: Consider having multiple garden hoses that are long enough to reach all areas of your home and other structures on your property. If you have a pool or well, consider getting a pump.
Useful Links:
Fire Information Engine—Homeowner Wildfire Assessment
University of California—Homeowner's Wildfire Mitigation Guide
*Ignition-resistant building materials are those that resist ignition or sustained burning when exposed to embers and small flames from wildfires. Examples of ignition-resistant materials include “non-combustible materials” that don’t burn, exterior grade fire-retardant-treaded wood lumber, fire-retardant-treated wood shakes and shingles listed by the State Fire Marshal (SFM) and any material that has been tested in accordance with SFM Standard 12-7A-5.