With the increase of fires in recent years, California has a new fire disclosure law on the books, AB 39 (2019). In response, the California Association of Realtors has come out with a new home fire hardening form. This is a new advisory and disclosure document combined, “C.A.R. Form FHDS, 5/21 Fire Hardening and Defensible Space Advisory, Disclosure, and Addendum”. It’s intended to help sellers and buyers be more aware of what can be done to make a home more resistant to fire.
Selling a home in a high fire risk zone? Expect these home fire hardening questions
In one section of the document, home sellers are asked if they have made the following alterations:
- Eave, soffit, and roof ventilation where the vents have openings in excess of one-eighth of an inch or are not flame and ember resistant.
- Roof coverings made of untreated wood shingles or shakes.
- Combustible landscaping or other materials within five feet of the home and under the footprint of any attached deck. (Wood chips and mulch may not be a good idea!)
- Single pane or non-tempered glass windows.
- Loose or missing bird stopping or roof flashing.
- Rain gutters without metal or noncombustible gutter covers.
All of us who are near Belgatos Park and nearby open spaces can benefit from improving our home’s safety should a fire breakout nearby. We recently measured our vent screens and found them to be 1/4 inch, so will be improving that. It’s a good list.
There’s a longer article on my main blog. Check it out for more information:
NEW California Disclosure – Home Fire Hardening Disclosure and Advisory
Below there’s also a document from the CA Assn of Realtors on the law. This is a good article with helpful information – I highly recommend it.
Los Gatos Fire Risk (Live in Los Gatos blog)
A History of Los Gatos Fires and the Los Gatos Fire Department (Live in Los Gatos blog)
CA Association of Realtors: Home Fire Hardening Disclosure Law, Feb 2021 (the form was updated in May 2021)