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Increase the chances your home will survive the next wildfire event with these home safety products.
There is no way around it — Boulder County is wildfire territory. Although we can neither predict nor control Mother Nature, there are some steps homeowners can, and should, take to harden their homes against fire damage. Some of the important first steps include clearing your gutters of leaves and other flammable materials, maintaining your yard, and not allowing the brush to become overgrown as well as ensuring all materials that could add fuel to the wildfire, such as firewood, are stored away from your home.
Reflecting on the devastation of the Marshall Fire, many Boulder County residents expressed a desire for more hands-on management of their own home’s fire hazards. Wildfires are indiscriminate in their destruction, but there are some tools to help motivated homeowners increase the chances that their property is spared. It helps to have some control during an event that’s inherently unpredictable.
If you belong to a homeowner association, inquire about its architectural review process to make sure your proposed home improvements comply with HOA guidelines. Each city and home-owners association may have variable requirements. Many cities require HOA approval during the permitting process, so it is always smart to check with your local Planning or Community Development Department for clarification.
Additional fire mitigation steps for your home include clearing brush from against the house, spacing trees so canopies will not ignite each other, and replacing flammable materials when possible. We take a look at some of the most impactful products that can help keep your home and valuables safe.
Volunteer with Saws and Slaws
One of the most unique ways to start working on fire mitigation is to join your local Saws and Slaws type organization for a hands-on community brush-clearing experience. This group of dedicated volunteers takes the time to clear away brush, remove branches, and maintain the property in exchange for a delicious free meal. Plus, they offer chainsaw safety classes to help a novice homeowner get started on their own landscape.
Frighteningly, the heat from an intense wildfire can shatter single-pane windows before the flames ever reach your home. Any open space that allows embers to enter can cause widespread destruction. It is crucial to ensure that windows and doors are covered in a protective material such as FireShade. According to Consumer Fire Products, 80% of homes begin burning during a wildfire due to embers finding their way into a house’s openings. Use FireShade to protect yourself from these flying sparks.
Fire can’t advance if there is no fuel to burn. Replace some of the greenery in your lawn with hardscape such as rocks or gravel. This not only saves you money on your water bill but can crucially prevent wildfire flames from becoming a structure fire. Rock N Roll Stoneworks in Lafayette works with you to craft a design that suits your stylistic taste as well as the added benefit of protecting your home from fire.
Everyone knows you fight fire with water! Frontline Wildfire offers outside-of-home sprinklers available to cover your entire house. Think of those interior fire sprinklers but for the outdoors. Multiple sprinklers cover your eaves, roofs, and walls in an interconnected system. There is even an app that not only lets you remotely activate the system if needed but also alerts you of wildfires in your area so you have more time to be better prepared. Prices depend on several factors, but financing is available from as low as $200 a month for this impressive system.
Consider replacing your wooden fences with fire-resistant metal ones. Any wood, whether it is a structure or simply decoration, will literally add fuel to the fire. Eliminating these combustible sources will help improve your home’s defensibility, and ultimately, its survivability. Check out the inspirations from McLean Forge located in Boulder. Prices vary by style and length of fence.
The Boulder Fire Department says that gutters are often the first part of the outside of your home to ignite. Burning gutters falling down the face of your house will also ignite other locations, rapidly spreading the damage. Mitigate the potential damage by using Gutter Helmet Denver to guard your gutters against accumulating dry leaves and tinder along your roof. Without it, you are leaving tinder and fuel accumulating along some of the most dangerous parts of your home.
Ensure your roof is well protected from falling embers driven by winds. There are several classes of roofing materials — make sure that you purchase Class A roofing materials that have a much higher chance of protecting your home. Consider using metal roofs for sheds and other home and garden structures, especially in wooded and high-fire areas. Western States Metal Roofing offers the perfect solution for hardening your home against fire.
Colorado Native Grass Seed Mix from Beauty Beyond Belief Wildflower Seed – 1lb bag for $12.95
Colorado has endured wildfires for thousands of years. The delicate cycle of destruction, growth, and renewal plays an important role in the ecosystem. This means that native plants and trees are the most fire-resistant. Plants like buffalo grass evolved to endure fire, to not be fully engulfed and destroyed each time they burn. Consider seeding your yard with grass found naturally in Colorado. Colorado Native Grass Seed Mix from BBB Seed will make your lawn more fire and drought-resistant, plus you are helping keep the plants native to our area alive and thriving.
One of the most important things about your home is the memories created there. Safeguard those valuables, treasured photos, and crucial documents in this dual fireproof and waterproof safe from SentrySafe. The Combination Fire/Water Safe (Model SFW205DPB) is fireproof for up to an hour in 1700 degrees Fahrenheit heat meaning that even if the unthinkable happens, the chances of the most important valuables surviving are greatly increased.