The Home & Immediate Zone Checklist

Building Materials – 3rd Priority
  • Roofing materials: Types of Class A fire-rated roofing products offer the best protection. Examples include: Composite shingles, metal, cement tile and clay. Inspect shingles/tiles and replace/repair those that are loose or missing to prevent ember penetration. If gaps exist between the roof covering and the roof deck at the eave or ridge, fill the space with a “bird stop” material.
  • Skylights: Remove debris next to and on skylights. Glass is a better option than plastic or fiberglass.
  • Vents: Consider purchasing closure devices for foundation and gable end vents and installing a louver- type dryer vent that stays closed unless the dryer is running. Clean debris from attic vents and install ⅛ inch metal mesh screening. For turbine vents, access the attic and inspect where the vent attaches to the roof and attach ⅛ inch screening to the roof sheathing. Dormer-face vents should be replaced with a low-profile vent. Ridge vents should be rated for high wind/rain exposure.
  • Windows: Multi-paned tempered glass can help reduce the risk of fracture or collapsing in a wildfire.
Building Materials – 2nd Priority
  • Eaves and Soffits: Reduce the size and number of embers that pass through vents in the eaves by covering them with a ⅛ inch metal mesh screening. Inspect soffit vents and maintain as needed.
  • Crawl spaces: Remove combustible materials and install ⅛ inch mesh screening on vents.
  • Foundation: All foundation vents should have a ⅛ inch corrosion-resistant metal screening.
  • Garages: Weather seal the perimeter of garage doors to help keep embers out. Be sure the door is tight fitting so embers can’t slide under the door or in from the sides. If possible, choose a metal or wood core door with metal exterior.
  • Sliding glass door: Choose double-pane tempered glass. Consider fireproof shutters to protect large windows and glass doors from radiant heat.
Building Materials – 1st Priority
  • Carports: Remove flammable items stored in carports.
  • Decks and elevated porches: Place ⅛ inch metal mesh screening between low- profile decks from surface to ground, to block embers from collecting underneath. Never store flammable materials underneath elevated decks/porches. Remove dead vegetation and debris from under decks/porches, and between deck board joints.
  • Fencing: Use non-flammable fencing material (metal or masonry) when attaching directly to the siding. Ensure there’s a minimum of at least 5 feet of noncombustible material where it attaches to the siding. Do not add vines or other types of vegetation to fencing material. Wooden fences can carry flames directly to the house.
  • Fireplace chimneys: Remove debris that may accumulate at roof-to-wall intersections. Embers from a fireplace can exit the chimney and could ignite a wildfire; to prevent this install a spark arrestor. When wildfires are approaching close the damper, fireplace screens and glass doors.
  • Gutters: Metal roof gutters do not ignite, only the debris material that accumulates in them – that’s why keeping them clean is so important. Vinyl roof gutters can ignite when the debris material is ignited and flaming gutters can fall from the roof edge and land next to the house, which is why the immediate zone needs to be clear of flammable materials.
  • Roof maintenance: Keep roofs clean from leaf litter and pine needles. Remove all tree limbs within 10 feet of the chimney, or that overhang the roof.
  • Siding: Use ignition-resistant building materials on exterior walls. Examples include: Stucco, masonry products, plaster and cement. Seal gaps and crevices. Examine the siding for locations where embers could accumulate or lodge and apply caulking at trim-to-siding locations where it is missing or has failed.