Wildfire Prevention Tip #1: Hardening Existing Homes

July 4th, 2013

To harden your home against embers and reduce wildfire fuel stores:

  • Install screens of 1/8" or smaller opening sizes over attic vents, soffit vents, and other openings into the home
  • If you have wooden vents, spray them with fire retardant so that blowing embers cannot ignite them
  • Fire-caulk cracks and openings that would allow hot embers into the home, i.e. around exterior door and window frames, edges at interfacing of materials like roofing and metal valleys or chimney and roof flashing, and the siding of the home
  • If you have vaulted roof tiles whose ends are open, thus allowing embers in, use fire-resistant material to close the end openings of the roof tile vaults
  • Enclose eaves, fascias, soffits, and vents
  • Plastic skylights will melt, so replace them with double-pane glass or tempered glass
  • Fences constructed of flammable materials like wood should not be attached directly to house (separate from house with masonry or metal barrier)
  • Spray, roll on, or brush on fire-retardant coatings on wooden fences, decks and elevated porches


Products/materials that are available:

  • Fire caulk: Rutland, clear, 500 degree RTV High Heat Silicone Sealant (Home Depot); there is also 3M 4-hr., 3-hr. and 1-hr. retardant Fire Sealants, but these are available only in bright colors
  • Fire Retardant for exterior wood decks, wood vents, wood fencing, wood siding, etc.: FX Lumber Guard XT by Fire Retardant Coatings of Texas (817) 710-5233, www.fireretardantcoatingsoftexas.com
  • Fire Retardant Rigid Insulation for ends of vaulted roof tiles: Elliott Co., (317) 291-1213, www.elliottfoam.com

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