Northeast Region Fire Program
Northeast Region
How do I protect my home from wildfire?

Protecting your home from wildfire

There are several things you can do to help protect your home from the threat of wildfire.

  • Select a safe site—when buying or building your home, choose a level location, at least 30 feet from a ridge or cliff.
  • Create a defensible space—remove dry grass, brush, dead leaves, and pine needles. Remove highly flammable plants and replace them with fire-resistive, high moisture ones. Relocate woodpiles away from structures. Keep trees pruned.
  • Make your roof, walls and windows fire-resistant—if you have wood shakes, treat them with fire retardant or replace them with non-combustible materials such as asphalt shingles, tile, slate, metal, brick or stone. Replace plate glass with tempered.
  • Install screens on chimneys, vents, eaves and gutters—flying sparks can enter through any opening. Keep gutters free of leaves, pine needles and debris.
  • Check all additional structures—wooden decks, fences, and trellises can act as fuses, leading fire to your house. Clean leaves and debris from under patios. Consider building ground-level terraces. Don’t attach wooden fences to your house.
  • Be accessible—make sure your driveway is well marked and wide enough for fire trucks to enter.

Visit Firewise for more helpful tips


Last updated: April 25, 2014