With upcoming summer heat concerns, Californians asked to self-assess building fire safety

Defensible space and home hardening are imperative to protecting communities from catastrophic wildfires. California residents in high-risk areas must do their part to protect their communities by creating and maintaining defensible space around their homes and structures.

With COVID-19 restrictions limiting CAL FIRE’s ability to conduct annual defensible space inspections this year, property owners are urged to conduct a Defensible Space Self-Assessment.

Over the next few weeks, California property owners in wildland-urban-interface communities will receive a flyer with information on accessing the online Defensible Space Self-Assessment. The flyer also highlights steps for creating defensible space around homes and buildings, and ways to harden your home to be more wildfire resistant. The self-assessment survey is easy to use and should only take a short time to complete.

“This self-assessment helps our inspectors comply with social distancing recommendations while still collecting vital information,” said Chief Thom Porter, CAL FIRE Director. “We urge you to participate in the survey and do your part to protect your community by creating defensible space and hardening your home to increase its chances of surviving a wildfire.

“It only takes one flying ember to bring wildfire to your home,” emphasized Porter. “Fire can spread from house to house, especially in more densely populated areas, due to flying embers. Direct flames, as well as radiant heat from burning plants or structures can also catch a home on fire. This is why it is so important to create defensible space and harden homes – it’s a community’s best fighting chance against wildfire.”

Defensible Space consists of two zones extending 100 feet from any home or structure cleared of dead trees, brush and vegetation. Maintenance of these two zones creates a buffer to slow or stop the spread of wildfire.

Home Hardening is preparing your home to increase its chance of surviving a wildfire. Upgrades of fire-ignition-resistant materials to roofs, eaves, vents, siding, windows, decks, fences and more can help prevent wildfire from destroying the house. Visit readyforwildfire.org for more information.