Make Resilient Upgrades | Strengthen Your Home • Wildfires
Protecting your home's eaves, gutters, soffits, and vents from wildfire is crucial to prevent wildfires. Evaluate and modify these building components to keep wildfire embers from entering and igniting your home.
Eaves, Overhangs, and Soffits
Eaves, overhangs, and soffits are not typically fabricated with fire-resistant materials. That is why they pose a potential hazard in wildfire-prone areas. These critical home components, including those made with thin metal, untreated wood panels, and vinyl material, are highly vulnerable to wildfire because they melt or ignite, allowing the fire to spread onto the roof, into the attic, or onto and through the exterior wall.
Overhangs and the top part of exterior walls can trap windborne embers, convective heat, and radiant heat, so it is critical to construct overhangs and walls using noncombustible or fire-resistant materials.
There are various types of vents in a home, including vents for attics; ventilated cathedral ceilings; crawlspaces; and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. During a wildfire, embers and hot gasses can enter vent openings and attic spaces, crawlspaces, and ductwork, spreading fire to the interior of your home. Dust, lint, and other debris collected at vent openings can also catch fire.
Gutters and Downspouts
Gutters and downspouts fabricated with plastic can melt during a wildfire.
Branches, leaves, pine needles, and other debris and vegetation trapped in gutters can catch ignite, create a fuel path, and spread wildfire to the roof.
FEMA P-737 Home Builders' Guide to Construction in Wildfire Zones
FEMA Rebuilding After a Wildfire
California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection: Wildfire Home Retrofit Guide
California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection: Readyforwildfire.org
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