Keeping our homes from burning

We love revealing myths. Let’s reveal some myths about causes of fire. If you are thinking of building, spend 8 minutes on this video.

Early December we had an event, where the guest speaker was Richard Halsey, a writer, photographer, and the director of the California Chaparral Institute, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, educational organization dedicated to the preservation of native shrubland habitats throughout North America and supporting the creative spirit as inspired by the natural environment.

The second edition of his book, “Fire, Chaparral, and Survival in Southern California,” was published in 2008.

Our favorite quote from the event: Plan the future from the future.

With Rick, we have learnt about natural fires (yes, Nature thought of that too). Spoiler alert: prevent your home from embers, not from wall of fire.

We heard some new ideas of how to keep your house safe. Start with fire and ember resistant vents to prevent embers to getting inside the attic and to keep a home from burning from the inside. Here is a novel idea: wet homes do not burn.

Here are other ideas to think about ( and this is the link for the full recording):

Think of fire as you think of rain. It’s going to happen.

House ignites trees, not the other way around.

What is proper vegetation management? Thinning, not clearing.

Join our controversial conversation about sprinklers – not interior sprinklers. Exterior sprinklers.

Protecting your home with your pool – hook up exterior sprinklers to your pool with an independent system.

Using best practices from the event, HomeWiP is now designing a unit that has both interior and exterior fire sprinklers. You can send your questions to

 Notre Dames after the fire

Your Fire Protection District might be providing you and your neighbors with “prescribed burns” to be conducted in or around your neighborhood in spring. A prescribed burn is a planned fire that is controlled to reduce hazardous vegetation near developed areas while mitigating potential wildfire threat to our community. Substantial vegetation management is conducted over the winter months to create an adequate shaded fuel break behind your neighborhood. Removal of potentially hazardous vegetation resulting from such a project will be gathered into multiple small burn piles that the fire department will ignite when safe conditions allow. Ideally, the prescribed burns take place in the March or early April time frame.

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