The Power of Being Prepared: Homeowner Checklist

A Checklist for Homeowners

Use this homeowner’s checklist to learn what you can do to harden your home against wildfires. Contact your local fire department, forestry office, emergency management office, or building department for information about local fire laws, building codes, and available protection measures.

Do You Know Your Wildfire Risk?

Learn about the history of wildfire in your area. Be aware of recent weather. A long period without rain increases the risk of wildfire. Consider having a professional inspect your property and offer recommendations for reducing the wildfire risk. Determine your community’s ability to respond to wildfire. Are roads leading to your property clearly marked? Are the roads wide enough to allow firefighting equipment to get through? Is your house number visible from the roadside?

Have You Thinned Out and Maintained Vegetation Around Your Home?

All vegetation is fuel for a wildfire, though some trees and shrubs are more flammable than others. To reduce the risk, you will need to modify or eliminate brush, trees and other vegetation near your home. Create a 30-foot safety zone around the house. The greater the distance between your home and the vegetation, the greater the protection.

Are Combustible Materials Moved Out, Away From the House?

Identify all combustible materials outside the house. Stack firewood 100 feet away and uphill from the house. Keep the gas grill and propane tank at least 15 feet from the house. Clear an area 15 feet around the grill. Place a 1/4 inch mesh screen over the grill.

Are House Vents Covered with Wire Mesh?

Any attic vent, soffit vent, louver or other opening can allow embers and flaming debris to enter a home and ignite it. Cover all openings with 1/4 inch or smaller corrosion-resistant wire mesh. If you’re designing louvers, place them in the vertical wall rather than the soffit of the overhang.
Is the Roof Made of Non-combustible Material?
The roof is especially vulnerable in a wildfire. Embers and flaming debris can travel great distances, land on your roof and start a new fire. Avoid flammable roofing materials such as wood, shake and shingle. Materials that are more fire resistant include single ply membranes, fiberglass
shingles, slate, metal, clay and concrete tile. Clear gutters of leaves and debris.
Have a personal safety plan in place for every member of your household (including pets) in case of emergency evacuation. has a great template to get your family started, or visit our Outage Center for safety information.