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Fall is the time to FireSmart your home

Summer is winding down and the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George wants to remind you that fall is a great time to take on some easy and effective FireSmart projects to help protect your home and property from wildfire.

There are a few simple, effective activities homeowners can do to FireSmart their property. The best place to start is the non-combustible zone; the first 1.5 metres immediately surrounding the home, attached garage, decks or patios. Regular maintenance and cleaning the corners and crevices of the home and yard (where needles and debris build up) and removal of all fuel sources will leave nothing for embers to ignite.

Planning any exterior construction or renovation projects? Remember to choose FireSmart building materials.

The roof is the most vulnerable component of your home. Sparks and burning embers from a wildfire can travel long distances and quickly ignite flammable roofing material. Class A fire-rated roofing materials offer the best protection. Examples include clay tile, concrete tile, metal and asphalt shingles.

Some types of construction materials, such as wood siding can burn when exposed to high temperatures or create gaps where embers can get in. This allows the fire to reach the underlying wall components and penetrate the interior of the building. Stucco, brick, fibre cement board and poured concrete all offer superior fire resistance.

Cover all vents with non-combustible 3 millimetre screening or ASTM fire rated vents. Metal products are recommended for vents and vent flashing. Select gutters and downspouts constructed of non-combustible materials, such as galvanized steel, copper and aluminum.

It is important to regularly inspect your gutters and eaves to identify any vulnerable spots or areas requiring attention. Keep these areas clear of combustible debris and ensure they are regularly maintained.

Open eaves create an entry point for sparks and embers. Ensure all soffit and fascia are installed, in good condition and close off all openings.

Ensure a metal drip edge is installed under the roofing material to reduce exposure to any wood surfaces

For further information about how easy it is to FireSmart your home, visit www.FireSmartBC.ca or follow the regional district on Facebook and YouTube.

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