Home Hardening

Hardening Structures Against Wildfire

Tiny burning embers can blow ahead of a wildfire if wind conditions are right, igniting spot fires a mile or more away from the main fire. Therefore, it is important to create defensible space AND to harden your structures against ember-caused ignition. House upkeep, fire-resistant landscaping, building materials, and certain building design features can all play a role in your home’s susceptibility to ember-caused ignition.

pdfEmber Awareness

pdfDownload in-depth recommendations on best practices for avoiding structure ignition

pdfCalifornia FireSafe Council Hardened Homes Brochure

General Guidelines for Structure Hardening Against Wildfire:

  • Create adequate defensible space.
  • Choose fire-resistant building materials.
  • Keep gutters, roofs, and decks clear of needles, leaves, and other debris.
  • Clear under your deck if the space underneath has any debris (man-made or natural).
  • Place woodpiles and propane tanks away from buildings.
  • Do not store tools, equipment, or junk piles adjacent to house.
  • Ensure that if fences were to catch fire, they would not guide flames to your house.

This Home Hardening video presentation will help you learn important steps you can take to better protect your family, home, and community by making your home more resistant to wildfires. 

In fall 2019, the Fire Safe Council of Santa Cruz County hosted a series of presentations on Home Hardening. Yana Valakovich, a noted expert in this burgeoning field, present important material to residents here in Santa Cruz County who are interested in making their homes more fire safe. She graciously allowed us to record her presentation to share with others interested in this topic.

Watch the full length Home Hardening presentation including the Q+A  CLICK HERE

Listen to a Home Hardening Talk with host Jean Kratzer’s on her program Exploring Santa Cruz on KSQD, our local Community Radio Station (97.1 FM).

Part 1      
Part 2


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