Fire Protection

Protection from Wildfires: Your roof is the most vulnerable part of your house.

The Danger.

Many parts of Oregon have been classified as high-risk areas by the Oregon Department of Forestry. Exercise caution when building a home in these areas. But even in the wetter Portland area, steps can be taken to reduce the risk of damage to your home from seasonal wildfires.

Protect Your Roof.

The most vulnerable part of a house to wildfire is the roof. Decrease its vulnerability to fire by avoiding the use of untreated wood shakes. Before the periods of high fire danger clean the gutters, eaves, and roof of dried leaves and needles.

Create a Safety Zone.

Increase the distance from your home to flammable materials by pruning or removing trees. Replace highly flammable species of trees or grasses with lawn areas and fire-resistant plants.

Chimneys and Ducts.

Make sure your chimney is kept clean and equipped with wire screening to prevent sparks and embers. Cover ducts with wire screen to keep sparks and embers from entering through them.



Rainwater Drainage

Preventing problems begins with knowing the soil type.

Clay soils

In the areas of Portland with clay soil (e.g. the West Hills, SE Multnomah County, and NE Clackamas County) water can easily enter the basements of homes and undermine footings.


Most homes with basements were built before effective waterproofing materials were available. Today, more effective materials are available. Nothing can substitute, however, for knowing the soil type and taking step to insure proper drainage — waterproofing the foundation, surrounding it with the appropriate rock fill, and grading it to slope away from the house.