8 tips to fireproof a home

July 30, 2013 | Last updated on July 30, 2013
2 min read

With temperatures rising in many parts of the country, homeowners, especially those in or around heavily forested areas, are advised to safeguard themselves against summer wildfires.

Read: Steps for recovering from the Alberta floods “We’ve seen first-hand the devastation homeowners face when a wildfire is threatening their home, or worse, has devoured it,” says Hubert Rau, British Columbia Automobile Association (BCAA) vice president of Insurance. “We encourage homeowners to take the time now, to practice good fire prevention measures.”

Read: Young clients take on risky home renovations Here are some precautions your clients should take.

  • Surround your home with a 10-metre defensible space. Clear away trees, brush, and firewood that could add fuel to a fire. Use driveways, lawns and gravel to create a fuel break wherever possible.
  • Do not store gas/propane tanks under decks or porches.
  • Assess your roof. Clear away overhanging trees and combustible debris such as pine needles and other vegetation that could act as fuel for airborne sparks and embers. Keep all eaves troughs clear of dry material. If a roof is scheduled for replacement, consider installing roofing material, such as asphalt or ceramic, which are more resilient to fire and embers compared to cedar shake tiles.
  • Be visible in an emergency. Ensure emergency crews can see the address clearly from the road. Be a community advocate for visible, fireproof street signs.
  • Keep one or more fire extinguishers charged and easily accessible. And create a fire safety plan, which includes a home fire drill.
  • Don’t let occasional-use vehicles sit uninsured.
  • Prepare for the worst. Keep an itemized list of belongings in a safe place, such as a safe or deposit box. Take photos or videos of possessions such as jewelry, electronics and furniture. Don’t forget to document landscaping items such as trees, shrubs and plants.
  • Ensure your home insurance policy is up-to-date. Ensure your belongings are adequately insured and that the policy reflects any significant renovations and other improvements made to your home.

Also read:

Canadian homeowners erase debt

More Canadians snapping up vacation homes

Help Gen Y overcome 4 barriers to homeownership