Wildfire Prepared Home™

When a wildfire threatens, homes are most likely to be ignited by burning embers carried in the wind. Once a home ignites, there is a 90% chance it will be completely destroyed. Wildfire Prepared Home is designed to help you reduce the chance your home will ignite.

Based on the latest wildfire mitigation science, this program guides you through the steps necessary to prepare and protect your home.

ROOF

A well-maintained Class A fire-rated roof offers the best protection against fire. Most asphalt shingles, tile and metal roofs are Class A.

BUILDING FEATURES

Ember- and flame-resistant vents help keep fire from entering your home. It’s also crucial that the lowest 6 inches of exterior walls are noncombustible.

DEFENSIBLE SPACE

The first 5 feet immediately around your home, called the home ignition zone, is the most critical part of your defensible space. This area should be hardscaped and kept clear of all combustible items such as plants, mulch, and wooden or vinyl fences.

Typical Homes Are Vulnerable to Wildfire

We spent years studying how flames and embers ignite homes during a wildfire and have identified mitigation actions that reduce the chance a home will be ignited. These actions comprise the requirements of Wildfire Prepared Home and when taken together give your home better protection against wildfire.

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Wildfire Prepared Home is a systems-based approach—meaning you must take all the wildfire mitigation actions in the standard to meet the program’s requirements and receive a designation. The Wildfire Prepared Home technical standard outlines groups of actions that are necessary to meaningfully reduce your home’s wildfire risk.

 

The Wildfire Prepared Home requirements go above guidance from most local jurisdictions based on the steps the latest IBHS wildfire research has shown effective.

Your Pathway to Better Protection Against Wildfire

* This is an abbreviated list of program requirements. Please review the Homeowner Guide to learn more.

Wildfire Prepared Home
Wildfire Prepared Home Plus
Ensure roof is Class A fire-rated
Roof must be Class A fire-resistant rated; most roof covers are, like asphalt shingles, masonry tiles that include bird stops, and metal.

Fire Resistant Roof
Choose noncombustible gutters and downspouts
Gutters and downspouts must be made from a noncombustible material such as metal.

Non-Combustible Gutters & Downspouts
Clear roofs, gutters, and downspouts of debris
The roof, gutters, and downspouts must be cleaned regularly to prevent accumulation of debris such as leaves and pine needles.

Clean Gutters and Roof
Install ember-resistant vents
Vents must be either ember- and fire-resistant or covered (inside or outside) with 1/8-inch or finer metal mesh.

Ember-Resistant Vents
Ensure a 6-inch ground clearance for exterior walls
There must be a minimum of 6 vertical inches (measured from the ground up) of noncombustible material at the base of exterior walls.

6-Inch Clearance
Clear and maintain decks and covered porches
Deck surfaces must be kept clear of debris and combustible materials. Area under deck must also be kept clear; area under decks less than 4 feet high must be enclosed. Deck must have 5 feet of defensible space (like the home ignition zone).

Enclosed Porch
Create and maintain the home ignition zone
The 5-foot area immediately around the home must have only hardscape or bare soil. All vegetation, including tree branches that overhang this area, must be removed. Combustible items must not be stored or parked here.

Home Ignition Zone
Maintain defensible space
The remainder of the property beyond the home ignition zone must be maintained by removing yard debris and dead vegetation and pruning trees and bushes.

Clean Yard
Remove combustible fencing within 5 feet of the home
There must be no combustible fencing within 5 feet of the home, including where fences attach to the home.

Non-Combustible Fence
Keep accessory structures compliant
Within 30 feet of the home, there must be no more than 3 accessory structures (larger than 15 square feet each) like sheds, playsets, gazebos, and ADUs. Each must meet the same requirements as the home, including those for defensible space.

ADUs and Out Buildings
No structures within 30 feet of home
Plus Level
Cover gutters
Install noncombustible gutter guards.

Non-Combusible Gutters
Enclose underside of eaves
Eaves must be enclosed on the underside with soffits made of noncombustible, ignition-resistant material, or 2-inch lumber (no plywood).

Enclosed Eaves
Install metal dryer vents
Dryer vents must be made of metal. Because of their design and function, dryer vents must not have 1/8-inch mesh.

Metal Dryer Vent
Install a noncombustible exterior wall cover
Siding must be noncombustible such as fiber-cement, stucco, stone, or brick.

Non-Combustible Siding
Ensure shutters, if in place, are noncombustible
Shutters, if in place, must be made of a noncombustible material.

Non-Combustible Shutters
Upgrade to fire-resistant windows
All exterior glass in windows, skylights, and within doors must be multipaned glass with a tempered outer pane; glass blocks are also acceptable (for windows only).

Tempered Glass Windows and Doors
Upgrade to noncombustible exterior doors
Exterior doors must be noncombustible or have a noncombustible storm door installed as the outermost exterior door.

Fire-Resistant Door
Enclose the space underneath bay windows
The area underneath bay windows on the first floor must be enclosed with a noncombustible wall.

Enclosed Bay Window
Upgrade to a noncombustible deck
All deck components including posts, joists, railings, and walking surface must be made with noncombustible materials.

Fire-Resistant Deck
Remove back-to-back fencing
There must be no back-to-back parallel fences (i.e., there are no separate fences that are closer than 3 feet apart).

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