Wildfires can spread quickly. Burning embers blown through the air are dangerous to homes.
Make your home more resilient to wildfires by following FireSmart principles. This means removing flammable materials from the area around your home.
FireSmart principles do not guarantee that fire damage cannot happen. Insure your home in case wildfire activity causes damage to it.
The FireSmart Homeowner’s Manual shows you how you can protect your home. It also includes a home assessment that helps you understand how FireSmart your home is.
Use fire-safe building materials for your home
The materials on your home’s exterior will have a big impact on how resilient it would be to wildfire embers. Consider the following when making home renovation decisions.
Metal, asphalt or a class-A fire retardant treatment for shakes are most effective.
- Stucco, metal, brick and concrete fire-resistant materials are most effective;
- Logs and heavy timbers are less effective.
- Wood and vinyl siding offer little protection.
- Tempered glass is resistant to fire damage.
- Double-pane windows provide moderate protection.
- Single-pane windows provide no protection.
Eaves and soffits
Closed designs keep embers out, which is better than an open or unscreened design.
- Make sure your chimney meets current Yukon building code requirements.
- Screen your chimney with an approved spark arrestor.
Create a fire safety zone around your home
Non-combustible zone: Within 1.5 metres of your home
There must not be flammable materials within this area. It should extend for 1.5 metres around the entire home and attachments such as decks.
- Use non-flammable landscaping materials like gravel, brick or concrete. This is a critical area because it's right beside your home.
- Remove flammable organic material like wood or bushes from this zone.
- Treat all structures in the same way as your home. This includes the area underneath and around vehicles and trailers.
- Clean your roof and gutters on a regular basis.
Fire safety zone 1: 1.5 to 10 metres around your home
The area 1.5 to 10 metres around your home should also be free of materials that could catch fire easily.
- Remove flammable shrubs, trees, deadfall and woodpiles.
- Keep propane tanks and other combustibles out of this area.
- Mow and water your lawn.
Fire safety zone 2: 10 to 30 metres around your home
- Reduce the density of forest fuels by thinning and pruning vegetation and trees. This will slow the spread of any fire.
- Space trees at least 3 metres apart.
- Remove all branches within 2 metres of the ground.
Fire safety zone 3: 30 to 100 metres around your home
- Thin the area of more flammable coniferous trees such as spruce and pine. With less available fuel, a fire will be less intense and easier to put out.
- Keep fire-resistant deciduous trees.
- Manage the forest canopy to reduce the potential for a crowning fire.
- Look for opportunities to create a fire break. Create space between trees and other potentially flammable vegetation.
- Regularly clear fine surface fuels from the ground. These easy-to-ignite fuels include fallen branches, dry grass and needles.
Use your burn barrel safely
Never leave a burn barrel unattended.
- Keep the barrel away from buildings and other combustible sources.
- Keep a wire mesh screen cover on your burn barrel.
- Stake down your barrel and wire it to a metal surface.