In using the term decks, we are including all types of horizontal walkways, including landings, porches, and patios directly connected or close to a house. Decks are described by the surface that you walk on (called the deck covering) and the area under the deck.
See a video demonstration showing some things to keep in mind about decking and wildfire.
|D1||Does the home have a deck or an exterior staircase? (If no, go to next section.)||Decking:|
|By decks, we are including all types of horizontal walkways, including landings, porches, and patios that are directly connected or very close to a house. If ignited, a deck can provide a flame impingement exposure to the adjacent siding and windows.|
|D1a||Is there an open-frame deck attached to the house (e.g., a deck with boards with gaps between them)?||Open-frame deck:|
|There are two basic kinds of decks – those that use deck boards as the deck covering, and those that have a solid surface deck covering. The deck boards are almost always made from combustible materials (wood or one of the wood fibers – plastic composite or 100% plastic deck board products), although metal deck boards are now available. Solid surface deck coverings are usually made from noncombustible materials, and include light-weight concrete or stone.|
|D1b||Is it difficult to access/maintain the area under the deck (will it be easy to keep the area clean of debris)?||Under deck access:|
|Decks that are close to the ground or covered with trellis or otherwise difficult to access underneath can allow for the build up of debris. In addition, fascia boards are often used as decorative edges on decks, but often cause decay to develop between the fascia and deck. This deck corner ignited in a decayed area at the deck corner:||
|D1c||Are there any man-made fuels under or within 3' of the deck?||Man-made fuels:|
|Man-made fuels include construction materials, newspaper or trash, coir or wood doormats, arbor or trellis, propane tanks, combustible lawn furniture, firewood pile, gas-powered vehicle, carport or detached garage, gas-powered lawn tools, flammable bins or cans, outbuildings, and other structures.|
|D1d||Is there any vegetation under or within 3' of the deck?||Vegetation:|
|Not all plants are ‘good’ or ‘bad’. The size, location, structure, and condition of vegetation determine its risk to a home. Plants closer to a home are a greater risk to a structure. Any plants near a house should be pruned, regularly watered (preferably dripped) and any dead material removed, including at the soil level. Along with these precautions, don’t use bark or other combustible natural materials as plant bedding. Embers can land in this, smolder, and later go into flaming combustion. In addition, the smaller the better, especially close to combustible siding, under a window, or inside a corner. Better yet, consider using ground cover wherever possible next to combustible siding or near windows for any type of siding.|