No matter where you live, fireproofing can be a concern to keep your home safe from the elements. There are considerations like fire insurance and working within codes for your county to ensure that any home updates are added within code regulations. Beyond these specifics, there are also some steps you can take to make your home fire-safe.
Understand your risk
Fire season is a real threat in many parts of the United States, particularly in the West. You can start by understanding if you live in an area that will be high risk during fire season. Websites such as www.usgs.gov can provide a basic understanding of the risk in your city, town, or neighborhood. This can be important when buying a home, as homes in a fire-risk area may have reduced property values or special rules and regulations. For example, California law requires sellers to disclose a property’s wildfire risk.
Learn about and implement fire hardening
Taking preventive measures to make your home fire safe is called fire hardening. When you make fire-hardening upgrades you are not only protecting your home, but you may be increasing your home’s property value. Your home’s features and size will help you determine the best fire-proofing measures for your home. A professional real estate agent can also advise you about the best upgrades to add value to your home.
Working with a contractor who is an expert in fire hardening can help you select the best solutions for your home. Some of the options that you might consider are creating what’s called a defensible space around your property. This is a buffer to help firefighters keep your home safe when fighting a fire. If you need to upgrade your roof, you could update it with a Class A fire-safe roof made from fire-resistant materials. Checking that your roof and gutters are debris-free will also help remove fire hazards.
Consider fire insurance
Unless you have an insurance policy that specifically mentions fire or catastrophic coverage, you may need to add fire insurance to your home owner’s policy. Check with your insurance agent to see if your current policy can be amended to cover fire damage. If not you may need to switch to a different provider.
Get your home appraised
Before you can get signed up for an insurance policy, you’ll need to have an accurate estimate of your home’s value. Aside from taking inventory of the valuables in your home, you’ll want to have an appraiser come out and give you an accurate estimate of what your home is worth. If you’re thinking about making fire-hardening upgrades, getting them in place before the appraisal could increase your home’s appraisal price. With that estimate, you will be better prepared to know what your home is worth and the policy you need.
With fire hazards on the rise, getting prepared to protect your home is an action that any homeowner would be wise to think about. Taking the steps to protect your home now can ensure that your property will have the best protection possible if the unthinkable happens.