Skip to Main Content
MENU ↓
Home Hardening

Homes ignite from embers, flames, or radiant heat.  Flying embers are your home's greatest risk, and can be carried by wind miles ahead of a wildfire.  Homeowners should "harden" their homes long before a fire starts. Taking the necessary measures to harden (prepare) your home can help increase its chance of survival when wildfire strikes.

Roof:

The roof is the most vulnerable part of your home. Homes with wood or shingle roofs are at high risk of being destroyed during a wildfire. Build your roof or re-roof with materials such as composition, metal or tile. Block any spaces between roof decking and covering to prevent embers from catching.

Vents:

Vents on homes create openings for flying embers.

  • Cover all vent openings with 1/16-inch to 1/8-inch metal mesh. Do not use fiberglass or plastic mesh because they can melt and burn.
  • Use Ember and flame resistant vents (WUI vents).
Eaves and Soffits:

Eaves and soffits should be protected with ignition-resistant* or non-combustible materials.

Windows:

Heat from a wildfire can cause windows to break even before the home is on fire. This allows burning embers to enter and start fires inside. Single-paned and large windows are particularly vulnerable.

  • Install dual-paned windows with one pane of tempered glass to reduce the chance of breakage in a fire.
  • Consider limiting the size and number of windows that face large areas of vegetation.
Walls:

Wood products, such as boards, panels or shingles, are common siding materials. However, they are flammable and not good choices for fire-prone areas.

  • Build or remodel your walls with ignition resistant* building materials, such as stucco, fiber cement wall siding, fire retardant, treated wood, or other approved materials.
  • Be sure to extend materials from the foundation to the roof.
Decks:

Surfaces within 10 feet of the building should be built with ignition-resistant*, non-combustible, or other approved materials.

  • Ensure that all combustible items are removed from underneath your deck.
Rain Gutters:

Keep rain gutters clear or enclose rain gutters to prevent accumulation of plant debris.

Patio Cover:

Use the same ignition-resistant* materials for patio coverings as a roof.

Home Hardening description

Chimney:

Cover your chimney and stovepipe outlets with a non-flammable screen. Use metal screen material with openings no smaller than 3/8-inch and no larger than 1/2-inch to prevent embers from escaping and igniting a fire.

Garage:

Have a fire extinguisher and tools such as a shovel, rake, bucket, and hose available for fire emergencies.

  • Install weather stripping around and under the garage door to prevent embers from blowing in.
  • Store all combustible and flammable liquids away from ignition sources.
Fences:

Consider using ignition-resistant* or non-combustible fence materials to protect your home during a wildfire.

Driveways and Access Roads:

Driveways should be built and maintained in accordance with state and local codes to allow fire and emergency vehicles to reach your home. Consider maintaining access roads with a minimum of 10 feet of clearance on either side, allowing for two-way traffic.

  • Ensure that all gates open inward and are wide enough to accommodate emergency equipment.
  • Trim trees and shrubs overhanging the road to allow emergency vehicles to pass.
Address:

Make sure your address is clearly visible from the road.

Water Supply:

Consider having multiple garden hoses that are long enough to reach all areas of your home and other structures on your property. If you have a pool or well, consider getting a pump.


Videos
  • City of Beverly Hills Shield
  • City of Beverly Hills
  • 455 North Rexford Dr
    Beverly Hills, CA 90210
  •  
  • (310) 285-1000
  • Monday-Thursday 7:30AM-5:30PM
  • Friday 8:00AM-5:00PM
© Copyright 2021, City of Beverly Hills. All Rights Reserved.