Marin County, CA

11/05/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/05/2019 16:37

Home Hardening Workshops to Boost Wildfire Safety

San Rafael, CA - Wildfires have destroyed more than 30,000 California homes in the past five years, including several hundred at the recent Kincade Fire in the North Bay counties. As part of the state's new reality of wildfire season being a year-round event, concerned homeowners are looking to increase the odds that their residence will be spared instead of reduced to ash.


On Tuesday, November 19, Marin County homeowners and building industry professionals can get answers at free Home Hardening Seminars, hosted by FIRESafe Marin. Building industry professionals are invited to a session from 2-4 p.m. at Embassy Suites, 101 McInnis Parkway, in San Rafael. After that, homeowners can attend from 6-8 p.m. at the same location.

The Marin County Fire Department will have representatives at both sessions, which are listed on www.firesafemarin.org under 'upcoming events.' At 5 p.m., those attending either free session can watch as a Marin County Fire engine company oversees a live burn demonstration for the Marin County Fairgrounds, just a short walk from Embassy Suites. Firefighters will illustrate how fire-resistant materials will help fend off flames as compared with ordinary construction materials.

Executive Coordinator Todd Lando of FIRESafe Marin said the dominance of wildfires in the news and heightened awareness about prevention efforts has prompted the need for free seminars like this.

'When viewing the aftermath of these increasingly destructive fires, many homeowners wonder why one house survived and another did not,' he said. 'Sometimes it boils down to sheer luck, like when the wind decides to shift, but often it's wise decisions regarding materials, design, installation, and maintenance of a home. The good news is that hardening a home to withstand fire threat does not have to be costly, but it does require an understanding of the exposures your home will experience. That's what we'll be addressing.'

Seminar participants will get to learn from building scientists and wildfire experts about what makes a building vulnerable to fire and how to reduce the risk that a home will ignite. Manufacturers and installers of products will be on hand to talk about why California's Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) Building Code is a proven factor to saving homes.

'Many local people have done a great job with creating defensible space around their homes and taking part in the Firewise USA program, but we'll be much better off if even more people get on board,' Lando said.

FIRESafe Marin, a nonprofit created shortly after the 1991 Oakland Hills wildfire, is presenting the sessions in partnership with the California State Automobile Association (CSAA) Insurance Group to provide building professionals and homeowners the most current knowledge on home-hardening practices. All year long, FIRESafe Marin coordinates wildfire educational efforts with homeowner and neighborhood groups as well as area fire agencies, community service organizations, emergency management professionals, insurance companies, public land managers and utility companies. Learn more at www.firesafemarin.org or by email at [email protected]. Discover more resources at www.marincountyfire.org.