The reality is, there are many, many home-hardening activities you can tackle—with no money and only a little of your time. Carve out some time, learn how to reduce risk and protect your home with a few simple chores and a trip to the hardware store.

What can you do this weekend?

  • Clean rain gutters and roofs of leaves and debris.
  • Cover all vent openings with 1/16-inch to 1/8-inch metal mesh. Do not use fiberglass or plastic mesh because they can melt and burn. If possible, use Ember and flame-resistant vents (WUI vents).
  • Install screens in all usable windows to increase ember resistance and decrease radiant heat exposure.
  • Create an ember-resistant zone around and under all decks, and remove all combustible items from underneath your deck.
  • Close the fireplace flue during fire season when the chimney is unused.
  • Add a battery backup to the garage door motor so the garage can easily be operated if power is out.
  • Install weather stripping around all doors, including under the garage door, to prevent embers from blowing in.
  • Make sure your address is clearly visible from the road.
  • Have multiple garden hoses long enough to reach all areas of your home and other structures on your property. If you have a pool or well, consider getting a pump.

Shopping list:

  • ⅙-inch to ⅛-inch metal mesh
  • Screens (measure your windows before you go!)
  • Battery backup to your garage door motor
  • Weather stripping
  • New address sign/ numbers if you need them
  • Garden hoses
  • Pump