GlobusGate is California licensed contractor.
GlobusGate is California licensed contractor.

Choosing a Fire-Safe Fence in High-Risk Fire Areas

Living in high wildfire risk areas requires extra precautions to protect your home and property. An essential part of your fire safety plan is choosing the right type of fencing. While fences mark boundaries and keep pets safe, they can also fuel wildfires, spreading flames quickly. Some materials are far more fire-resistant than others. When selecting a fence in fire-prone regions like Ventura and Orange counties, prioritize durability, non-flammable materials, and open designs. For expert advice and high-quality fire-safe fencing solutions, trust the professionals at Globus Gates.

Regional Fire Safety Standards

California’s diverse climates mean that local government agencies may have stricter standards than the state’s minimum requirements. For instance, San Diego County mandates 50 feet of clearance in Zone 1. Always check with your local fire department or fire protection district for specific defensible space or weed abatement requirements.

Fire-Safe Types of Fences

For a solid, decorative fence in fire-prone areas, consider iron fences. They provide privacy, deter wildlife, and are non-combustible, helping to protect your property from brush fires. Research by Defensible Space Zones in Los Angeles shows that iron fencing performs best under all exposure conditions, especially in a 30-minute flame immersion test simulating the effects of an adjacent house fire.

Ornamental Iron Fences

Ornamental iron is a classic and fire-resistant fencing choice. Steel doesn’t burn and conducts heat slowly. The open designs of wrought iron and other ornamental iron styles prevent embers or burning debris from becoming trapped, reducing the risk of flames being funneled toward your home. Look for iron fence panels with minimal scrollwork and geometric shapes that allow maximum airflow. Avoid large flat panels, which can act as sails in high winds during a wildfire.

Woven Wire Fences

Woven wire fences connected to steel T-posts are another fire-safe option. The mesh design allows smoke, embers, and heat to pass through, preventing the fencing from igniting. Choose tight mesh spacing of 2 inches or less. Avoid chain-link fencing with privacy slats, as these can trap burning debris. While wood fence posts are flammable, metal T-posts used with woven wire fences are fire-resistant.

Home Hardening Measures for Fire Safety

Beyond fire-safe fencing, homeowners in high-risk areas should implement home hardening techniques and create defensible space. Home hardening involves using fire-resistant building materials, enclosed eaves, dual-paned windows, and minimizing vegetation touching structures. Defensible space is an area around the home cleared of combustible materials and vegetation, divided into three zones:

Zone 0: Immediate Zone (0-5 feet)

  • Use Hardscape: Utilize non-combustible materials like gravel, pavers, or concrete instead of flammable bark or mulch.
  • Remove Dead Plants: Eliminate dead or dying vegetation, weeds, and debris (leaves, needles, etc.) from your roof, gutters, deck, porch, stairs, and areas under your home.
  • Chimney and Stove Pipes: Prune any branches within 10 feet of chimneys or stovepipe outlets.
  • Decks: Limit flammable items like outdoor furniture on top of decks.
  • Woodpiles: Move firewood and lumber at least 30 feet away from structures.
  • Fences, Gates, and Arbors: Replace combustible fencing, gates, and arbors attached to your home with non-flammable alternatives.
  • Garbage and Recycling Containers: Reposition garbage and recycling bins outside the 30-foot perimeter.

Zone 1: Intermediate Zone (5-30 feet)

  • Dead Plants: Eliminate deceased vegetation, including grass and unwanted plants.
  • Clear Away: Remove dead or dry leaves and pine needles.
  • Trim Trees Regularly: Keep branches a minimum of 10 feet from other trees.
  • Create a Buffer Zone: Ensure space between trees, shrubs, and items that could catch fire.

Zone 2: Extended Zone (30-100 feet)

  • Cut or Mow Annual Grass: Keep grass trimmed to 4 inches or less.
  • Create Horizontal Space: Leave space between shrubs and trees.
  • Create Vertical Space: Ensure vertical separation between grass, shrubs, and trees.
  • Remove Dead Plant Material: Clear needles, twigs, bark, cones, and small branches.
  • Maintain Clearance Around Wood Piles: Ensure 10 feet of clearance around exposed wood piles, cleared down to bare soil.
  • Clear Areas Around Outbuildings and Propane Tanks: Ensure 10 feet of bare soil around buildings and tanks, with an additional 10 feet of cleared area.

Choosing Fire-Safe Fencing with Globus Gates

Selecting the right fire-safe fence can significantly enhance your property’s safety and resilience against wildfires. At Globus Gates, we offer a range of fire-resistant fencing options, including iron and woven wire fences, designed to protect your home while maintaining aesthetic appeal. Contact us today to learn more about our fire-safe fencing solutions and how we can help you secure your property in high-risk fire areas.

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