3 Steps to Wildfire Protection




Summer is wildfire season in Alberta and BC, so we thought it would be helpful to share these three steps to cost-effective wildfire home protection!


Step 1: Maintain What You’ve Got

  • Remove needs, leaves, and other debris from gutters, roof surfaces, decks and balconies.
  • Regularly clean vents.
  • Remove combustible materials stored within 10m of your home’s perimeter and under decks (ie. firewood and lumber).
  • Remove all combustible ground cover within 1.5m of your home’s perimeter (ie. mulch and plants).
  • Mow your lawn to < 10cm and plant low-growing and well placed shrubs and other vegetation.
  • Prune your trees to create a 2m clearance from the ground to the lowest tree branch.

Cost estimates: $0 – $300 (based on 2500 square foot home)


Step 2: Complete Simple Upgrades

  • Install non-combustible fencing within 1.5m of your home (ie. cement fiber, metal, chain link or stone).
  • Install non-combustible ground surfaces within 1.5m of your home (ie. mineral soil, rock, concrete or stone).
  • Create a 15cm ground-to-siding non-combustible clearance (ie. install cement board or metal skirting).
  • Add a non-combustible 3mm screen to all external vents (except dryer vents).
  • Replace worn or missing weather stripping on all doors, including the garage door.

Cost estimates: $300 – $3000 (based on 2500 square foot home)


Step 3: Complete More Complex Upgrades

  • Install a Class A fire-resistant roof covering (ie. cement fiber, metal or asphalt shingles).
  • Install non-combustible siding (ie. stucco, metal, stone, or cement fiber board).
  • Install multi-pane or tempered glass windows and exterior fire rated doors.
  • Remove conifer trees that are within 10m of your home.
  • Retrofit all deck components to be fire-rated, with a continuous surface.

Cost estimates: $3000 – $30,000 (based on 2500 square foot home)



Thank you to Fire Smart Canada, the University of Waterloo, and Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation for this information!  To learn more, please visit firesmartcanada.ca.


Thank you!


The Costen Insurance Team