Wildfire resilience may not be the fun part of planning a cottage reno or a new build, but good choices can help hold back the flames.


Not this: Untreated wooden shakes or shingles

Try this: Asphalt shingles; clay, concrete, or slate tiles; metal (not aluminum); and EPDM membrane

Here’s why: During a wildfire, your roof is the most vulnerable part of your cottage. Untreated wooden shakes and shingles are highly combustible, with small crevices that can catch and accumulate embers. For maximum protection, choose a Class A (ULC-S107/ASTM E 108) fire-rated material.


Not this: Wood or Vinyl

Try this: Metal, fibre, cement, stucco, stone, rock or concrete

Here’s why: This one is simple: choose non-combustible siding over wood or vinyl. Vinyl siding melts in high temperatures, exposing underlying wall components. While heavy timber and logs offer some protection, untreated wood siding is very vulnerable to fire. Also, it’s important to eliminate any gaps, as flames or embers can penetrate the space behind the siding.


Not this: Single pane

Try this: Multi-pane

Here’s why: Flames and heat can break a window, allowing fire into the building. Single-pane glass offers almost no protection. Multi-pane windows, particularly those with a tempered outer pane, are more resilient. Solid shutters with no gaps, made from non-combustible materials, add another layer of defence.

There’s an app for that…

Download the “FireSmart Begins at Home” app to assess your property’s wildfire resilience and get a list of actions you can take to reduce potential fire damage. For instance, you can:

  1. Remove combustible debris from your roof and eavestroughs, and trim overhanging branches.

  2. Clear a 1.5 metre non-combustible zone around your cottage, surfaced with soil, rock, or stone. Remove plants, debris, and combustible materials, and don’t forget to clear under your deck.

  3. Close off any gaps along the eaves and screen vents with non-combustible 3-mm mesh to keep embers out.

2024-05-29T16:51:00Z dg43tfdfdgfd