Allied Disaster Defense – A Premiere Partner
Get Your Home Designated as a Wildfire Prepared Home. We can get you there.
What is a Wildfire Prepared Home?
Wildfire Prepared Home was developed to help protect your home from wildfire, based on years of scientific research by the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS). All the required mitigation actions must be met for your home to qualify. Once we’ve completed all required mitigation actions, we will provide you a code to apply for a designation.
Wildfire Prepared Home is the first-ever wildfire mitigation designation program. It allows homeowners to show their insurance company they’ve taken the critical set of science-based actions needed to meaningfully reduce their home’s wildfire risk, distinguishing it from partially or unmitigated properties.
Much more than another set of tips, Wildfire Prepared Home includes built-in homeowner education, a system of required mitigation actions, a verification process, and an annual requirement to ensure ongoing landscape maintenance.
While designations are currently only available for single-family homes of three stories or less in California, the requirements are recommended for all homes to reduce wildfire risk. Eligibility for designation may be extended to other building types and locations in future versions of this standard.
Importantly, to ensure better protection against wildfire, the requirements of this standard are stringent. Therefore, it is not easy to earn a designation, and some homeowners may have to work with neighbor(s) to meet the requirements. Homeowners who do achieve a designation will reduce their risk and have better peace of mind when wildfire threatens.
Wildfire Prepared Home balances achievability, while meaningfully reducing risk. No home is fireproof. Yet, a system of actions can limit the catastrophic reach of wildfire as it approaches neighborhoods.
See the IBHS Guidelines on Wildfire Prepared Homes
Did you know most fires are started by embers miles away from the wildfire?
When wildfire threatens, most homes are ignited by wildfire embers carried by the wind from miles away, collecting at the base of your home’s walls, igniting vegetation and mulch, landing on your roof and gutters, or blown into openings of the home like vents. Once the embers get into the vents, there is a high chance of materials to combust in your attic or crawl space, igniting the home from the inside out.
Our team of experts are ready to conduct a Wildfire Prepared Home risk assessment and mitigate your home to ensure your property is held to the highest standard from IBHS. This is your pathway to better protection against wildfire.
Vulnerable to embers
casting into vents
(replace with ember-resistant vents)
especially from vegetation below.
(0-5 feet clearance needed)
(0-5 feet clearance needed)
or removal of vegetation
Hover over the vulnerable areas to see how our expertise can help prevent your home from igniting.
Get Started with Wildfire Risk Assessment
Wildfire Prepared Home Assessment
We assess 3 critical areas: Your roof, building features, and defensible space. This includes gutters, eaves and overhangs, walls, vents, 6-inch ground clearance for exterior walls, windows, doors, 5-foot noncombustible home ignition zone, fences, decks, outbuildings, etc.
Mitigation & Home Hardening
The construction materials, design elements, and landscaping all play a role in a home’s potential to withstand a wildfire. Homes that are built and landscaped to the science-based IBHS Wildfire Prepared Home standard are less vulnerable to wildfires and are more likely to survive one.
Long-Term Fire Retardant
This is an optional mitigation action not required by the Wildfire Prepared Home Standard. We utilize the same fire retardants released by professional airplanes and helicopters (without the red dye) to fight wildfires. This gold standard fire retardant is safe and effective to apply to vegetation.
The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) estimates that up to 90% of the homes lost in a wildfire are due to embers.
The embers accumulate around the home, land on the home, and are blown into ventilation openings in the attic and foundation vents.
While it’s tempting to block the vents altogether, it’s not that simple. Attics and foundations need to be ventilated. Ember-resistant vents are effective at stopping embers but they can also limit the ventilation needed for the home.
Why do I need attic ventilation?
Attic venting is a crucial part of a home’s moisture and heat management system. Venting moisture and heat from the attic allows a home to be more energy efficient and helps keep energy bills manageable. Attic venting helps preserve the integrity of a home’s building components, making it more durable, and lessening the need for costly repairs. Ventilation also helps prevent the growth of harmful mold and mildew that can affect human health.
How many vents do I need?
Title 24, the California Building Energy Efficiency Standards, requires a 1/150 calculation for minimum residential attic ventilation. This means that for every 150 square feet of enclosed attic space, 1 square foot of ventilation is required.
How do Ember Resistant Vents work?
Ember-resistant vents are a relatively easy solution to the ember intrusion problem. Ember-resistant vents are made to prevent embers from entering the home and starting a fire. There are three types of vents that are approved by the Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM). Each approved vent functions differently.
While ember-resistant vents are effective at stopping embers, they do have varying levels of restriction to the attic and foundation ventilation.
There are ways to modify existing vents with special ember-resistant mesh, however, while effective, this method is not currently listed and approved by the OSFM.
Effect of ember-resistant vents on a home’s ventilation system:
Which vent will work for me?
Considerations when selecting ember-resistant vents include cost, availability (custom vents) and most importantly the effect that the vents have on your home’s ventilation system.
Do I need an ember-resistant vent on my chimney?
In California, chimneys are required to have a Chimney Cap Spark Arrestor. Spark arrestors are different from ember-resistant vents.
Ember-resistant vents are designed to keep embers from a wildfire from entering vulnerable areas of the home by limiting the size of the mesh openings to 1/8 and as small as 1/16 of an inch.
Chimney cap spark arrestors are designed to keep embers from a fire in the fireplace from exiting the chimney and landing on the roof or on combustible material on the ground. Spark arrestors generally consist of double layers of metal mesh that are 1/2 and no smaller than 3/8 of an inch. This mesh can catch embers, yet still allow gasses and smoke to exit the chimney efficiently.
Placing an ember-resistant vent on a chimney could interrupt the thermal flow of the chimney gasses causing smoke and carbon monoxide to back up into the home.
Things to Ask your Contractor:
- What impact(s) will the vents have on the home’s ventilation system (there is an impact)?
- Is there a need to add additional vents to make up for any lost ventilation?
- What are the different venting options?
- Are you a licensed General Contractor? (this is required by law in the most states including California)
- Do you have Workers Compensation Insurance? (if they are using employees, Workers Compensation is required by law)
Get Started with Wildfire Risk Assessment
Service Providers for Los Angeles County, Orange County and Ventura County
Allied Disaster Defense has a holistic approach to help homeowners and communities in wildfire hazard zones reach the Wildfire Prepared Home designation. Allied customers can proactively protect their homes from wildfire damage. Contact Allied for a wildfire risk assessment and to do the work to get your home wildfire prepared. Once the work is complete you will be ready to apply for a Wildfire Prepared Home designation to send to your insurance company.