In Depth: Harden your home against wildfires

SEGMENT A: Protecting Your Home

Fire Captain Tony Imbrenda of L.A. County Fire, Captain Steve Kaufmann of Ventura County Fire, and Captain Lucas Spellman of Cal Fire talk about how to protect your home during this Summer Fire Season, including clearing vegetation, and getting double pane windows.

SEGMENT B: How to Harden Your Home

Fire Captains Tony Imbrenda of L.A. County Fire, Steve Kaufmann of Ventura County Fire, and Lucas Spellman of Cal Fire continue the discussion on how to save yourself and your home from wildfires. Plus Scott Harris, the Chief Operating Officer of Building Construction Group. He has a lot of knowledge about hardening homes and other buildings against wildfires.

By Scott Harris
1. Pumps to suck water from pools - submersible pump buy at local hardware store with a 2" canvas hose(rubber would melt)

2. Fire retardant foam to spray on top of roof

3. Eliminating plastics - especially around windows, which are one of the weakest links -- since that's where a fire usually enters ie vertical blinds

4. Fire resistant paint especially to underside of eaves and posts and other vulnerable areas.

5. Seal up all dry lumber - fresh coat of paint helps eliminate exposure of dry lumber/dry rot (which should be removed)

6. Add sprinkler system for the roof

7. Ignition resistant roof -- Change out roofing to "class A" fire resistant material

8. Attic vents - use fire preventative mesh and/or self-closing metal doors in the attic vents and ventilation. They are fusible, so with heat they automatically close.

9. ATTIC - install drywall in the attic give an additional 1 hr. fire protection

10. Remove turbine attic vents - they are where fire can access inside attic

11. Add fire-stop foam/fire retardant foam and fill all holes/gaps - existing wire and pipes in the attic. This seals up the area making it tight to help prevent fire from flushing through.

12. Retrofit windows - Double paned instead of single pane glass to double your fire protection

13. Instead of wood frames for windows, change to metal

14. Replace wood railings attached to home with meta
15. If you have exposed rafter tails, clad them with non-flammable tongue and groove (T and G) Trim out the underside of your eaves with fireproof board (made with cement). Can be decorative.

16. Landscaping - keep minimum of 4' area away from the house - Replace planter beds next house with gravel and succulents. TRIM tree branches to clear roof/not overhang, by 4'

17. Wood decks - change out to non-flammable materials (i.e. cement board, decking material)

18. If you have exterior shutters make sure they are fire resistant.
19. Self- closing shutters for exterior -- Roll-down /pull down metal panels or siding that automatically close.

20. Use metal for your front door.

21. Mini fire kit - Glass breaker and roll down ladder (not all windows open especially In a fire)

22. Add smoke detectors/alarms

23. Self-closing spring on doors - garage door

24. Change out current drapes for fire retardant drapes and other furnishings

25. Install a rain catchment tank. Use for irrigation year round and keep as an auxiliary water source


The Panel talks about watching for fires with cameras installed on local hillsides by SoCal Edison, to help protect neighborhoods across Southern California.

Link to Online Fire Cameras at Alert Widlfire

SEGMENT D: Final Thought

A look at our new podcasts, and a final word from our Panel.