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10 for 10 Series: Fireproofing Your Home


In our previous editions, we've discussed choosing the right contractor and managing your budget during a rebuild. Today, we're shifting gears to focus on fireproofing your home. Whether you're building a new home or looking to upgrade your existing one, fireproofing is a critical aspect that can't be overlooked. Here are 20 essential tips to help you fireproof your home effectively, 10 for new construction and 10 for existing homes.

For New Construction:

  1. Choose Fire-Resistant Materials: Opt for fire resistant exteriors like hardiboard siding, stucco, and stone cladding.

  2. Fireproof Soffits: Ensure all soffits are covered in fireproof material or densglass.

  3. Ventless Design: Speak to your architect about going ventless or installing WUI-approved vents like Vulcans.

  4. Enclose Exposed Decks: Prevent fires and debris from flying and getting trapped under decks and exposed structures by enclosing these areas with fire-resistant sidings.

  5. WaveGuard: Investigate and explore products like WaveGuard for added protection. While I never worked with one directly, an architect I worked with put them in on multiple high end homes in Sonoma, Napa and Marin County.

  6. Defensible Space: Maintain a clear area around your home, free from trees and large brush.

  7. Non-Flammable Fencing: Use non-flammable materials for fencing to prevent fires from spreading. Fences act like kindling to a fire, small light pieces of wood that are thrown around causing the fire to spread.

  8. Fire-Resistant Plants: Opt for plants that are less likely to catch fire, like rockrose, ice plant, and aloe. Also means avoiding highly flammable plants/trees near your home.

  9. Safety First in Extreme Conditions: Prepare a quick checklist of important possessions and their locations for quick evacuation. Getting your loved ones out of harms way is the priority, the better prepared the better you will be able to do so.

  10. Battery Backup | Generator: Install a solar battery backup or generator to ensure power availability during emergencies, allowing for easy garage door operation and lighting.

For Existing Homes:

  1. Replace Siding: Upgrade your siding to fire-resistant materials.

  2. Upgrade Vents: Replace old vents with WUI-approved vents.

  3. Clean Gutters and Roofs: Accumulated leaves and debris can be a fire hazard.

  4. Escape Plan: Have an escape plan and resources ready for quick action.

  5. Defensible Space: Create a clear area around your home to act as a firebreak.

  6. Smoke Alarms: Regularly check and maintain your smoke alarms.

  7. Emergency Equipment: Keep fire extinguishers and fire blankets readily available.

  8. Install Fire Bell: Install a fire bell that can be activated during emergencies to alert residents and neighbors.

  9. Insurance Alignment: Use services like Madelia's Enhanced Estimate to ensure your home construction costs align with your insurance coverage. Add the 360 imagery option to document your existing conditions and expand assumptions.

  10. Install a Fire Alert App: Consider installing a geo-located fire alert app like WatchDuty on your smartphone. This app provides real-time alerts for fires in your area, allowing you to take immediate action and evacuate if necessary.


Fireproofing your home is a continuous effort that requires both preventive and reactive measures. Whether you're building a new home or looking to upgrade an existing one, these 20 tips can serve as a comprehensive guide to reducing the risk of fire damage.

Stay Tuned

Don't miss the next installment in our "10 for 10" series, where we'll discuss "Top 10 Construction Terms You Should Know." Until then, stay safe and fireproof!



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