The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS)  reminds property owners there are three threats to a building during a wildfire: windborne embers (also known as firebrands), direct flame contact and radiant heat. Property owners should evaluate and work to reduce the risk from all of these potential threats.

Ember exposure is considered the most important threat, because most building ignitions have been attributed to them, according to IBHS researchers. Embers can ignite combustible building components and contents directly, or ignite vegetation and other combustible items located adjacent to or near a building. Once ignited, this material can expose a home or business to radiant heat and direct contact with flames.

To achieve the optimal protection against wildfire, home and business owners must diligently maintain the vegetation on their property and carefully select materials used to build and retrofit buildings on the property.

Creating defensible space, where vegetation is carefully managed, will reduce the threat from ignitions from embers that land on the property. Defensible space should extend at least 100 ft. from your home or to the property line. The area within 30 ft. of your home or business is especially important, particularly the area within 5 ft. of any building. Click HERE  a complete guide to creating defensible space from the IBHS.

By creating a noncombustible zone in the 5 feet immediately next to your home or business you will remove most things that could be ignited by wind-blown embers during a wildfire. Consider using rock or stone mulch instead of bark, pine needles or other combustible mulch products.

Click HERE to download a free copy of the IBHS Wildfire Home Assessment & Checklist to help identify and correct vulnerabilities on your property. Use the cost estimator tool in the checklist to help prioritize “to-do” projects now, and identify larger projects that should be part of future maintenance and renovations.

IBHS also offers a complete wildfire retrofit guide for the Rocky Mountain Region, as well as commercial, residential, and farms and ranches wildfire preparation brochures