Winter is Coming – Risk of Fire Due to Dry Winds
The increased fire risk in California has put all of its counties at increased fire risk, including San Diego. Warm winds coming to San Diego from Santa Ana have constantly been increasing the temperature of the county and putting it at risk of fire damage.
Fire Risk in San Diego
While dry winds can increase fire risk at any place, the hot temperature of the west coast combines with the dry winds to increase the air pressure and heighten the risk of wildfires. Last year alone, the damage caused by wildfires in California was a record high. Tens of thousands of people living on the west coast had to evacuate their homes and relocate.
Since climate change isn’t being reversed and its effects continue, you will need to adapt your home to protect it from the increased fire risk due to changing weather.
The National Fire Protection Association suggests dividing the home into three sections: the immediate zone, intermediate zone, and extended zone.
While you need to maintain the intermediate and the extended zone regularly, you can only fully control the immediate zone. The immediate zone extends up to 5ft from your home, the intermediate zone extends from 5-30ft, and beyond 30 ft lies the extended zone of your home. Through numerous actions, you can ensure your home’s safety from the increased fire risks from winds in the immediate zone. Some of which are:
Cleaning and Repair Roof
Your home’s roof is its most important layer of protection. If you want to reduce your home’s fire risk or control the fire damage, you will need to maintain your home’s roof.
Cleaning it every two weeks will greatly help remove dead leaves, broken twigs or branches, or other flammable material from it. You will also be able to see if any part of the roof needs repairing.
If there are any broken or missing shingles, repair or replace them as required. If your home’s roof has a chimney, regularly check for any trash or leaves stuck inside it. If you use the fireplace regularly, clean the soot regularly from the chimney too.
Dry winds don’t just affect the temperature or carry flames and embers with them; they can also move trash or fallen leaves and branches. Since twigs and branches can sometimes be heavy, it is common for them to be carried by the winds close to the ground and fall into open sewers. These branches can be easily set on fire by the tiniest embers carried by the wind.
You can reduce the risk of fire damage to your home from gutters by ensuring that they stay clean. Covering the gutters with cement lids can greatly help in stopping the entrance of twigs and branches, and other flammable material in the gutters
Keep Air Vents Clean
Air vents can also accumulate dead leaves, small twigs, or other flammable materials carried by the wind. Since air vents open inside your home, they can be a source of fire damage. However, you can reduce the fire risk through air vents by servicing and cleaning them regularly. The openings of air vents should be specially cleaned to remove any flammable substances before starting a fire.
Plant Trees Tactfully
According to the National Fire Protection Association, you shouldn’t plant any trees in your home’s immediate or intermediate zones. You can get non-flammable faux plants to fulfill aesthetic purposes if you want. Only plant trees in the extended zone and keep them trimmed.
The bigger a tree is, the more area it covers, which directly increases its risk of being set on fire. Plant each tree at least 6 feet away from other trees and make sure their branches stay at least 2 feet away so that wildfire doesn’t spread.
Repair Broken Glasses
Broken glasses can reflect sunlight at angles that can set fire to nearby flammable materials. Therefore, it is essential to replace or repair any broken glass on your home’s or vehicle’s window as soon as possible.
Maintain Storage Sheds
If you have outdoor sheds, maintaining them to reduce their risk of fire damage is as important as maintaining the living spaces of your home. Keep the roof of the storage shed clean and intact. Don’t let debris or trash gather near it.
Trim and cut the wild grass around it too. If the storage shed is too close to the home, i.e., in the immediate zone, consider moving it to the intermediate zone. If you cannot relocate the storage shed, it would be wise not to store any flammable materials such as dry wood, card boxes, or papers.
Lastly, don’t forget to remove all flammable materials from the immediate zone and regularly maintain the intermediate zone. It might sound like a lot of work, but it takes less effort than to relocate to a new home.
You should regularly maintain the inside of your home too. A well-maintained home has reduced the risk of fire damage, whereas problems like soot leftover from previous fires or water or mold damage can also lead to increased fire risk.
Contact a restoration service if you notice any such damage in your home. Many restoration services, such as the 911 Restoration of San Diego, provide water, fire, and mold emergency restoration services.