Wildfire Preparedness for Luxury Homes

Wildfires are becoming more frequent and severe, posing a significant threat to luxury homes and the precious belonging inside them. Safeguarding them requires strategic foresight and proactive measures. Here’s a comprehensive guide to wildfire preparedness tailored for high-value primary and vacation residences.


Luxury homes often occupy real estate in picturesque locations like hillsides, coastal regions, and forested areas. These settings, while beautiful, are highly susceptible to wildfires and firefighters may be hindered from reaching residences due to impassable road conditions. Anything you can do in advance to mitigate your exposures will significantly reduce your risk of loss in the future.


“Home hardening” is a relatively new term and involves reducing possible ignition from embers and radiant heat. Strategies include:

  • Upgrading existing roofing materials to metal, tile, or Class A shingles.

  • Installing vents designed to prevent embers from entering a home or garage.

  • Replacing current siding with non-combustible materials like stucco, fiber cement, or metal.

  • Installing windows with tempered glass to reduce the chance of heat-related breakage.

  • Selecting fire-resistant materials for patios and decks such as composite, metal, or stone.


Defensible space is just another term for modifying your landscape to slow the spread of fire and give firefighters a fighting chance. Here’s how:

  • Remove dead plants, grass, and leaves.

  • Trim tree branches overhanging your roof and prune shrubs at least two feet away from siding.

  • Keep lawn well-watered and mowed (as city ordinances allow) and choose fire-resistant plants for landscaping.

  • Leverage driveways, patios, and decks to create barriers that can slow the spread of fire.

  • Thin clusters of trees and shrubs to reduce potential fuel for wildfires.

  • Ensure trees and large shrubs are spaced so that fire cannot easily spread between them.

  • Consider working with a professional to create a forest management plan that includes thinning trees and reducing underbrush if your property extends into wooded areas.


Luxury lifestyles require protection systems that go beyond standard safety measures. If your homes include custom features, high-end collections, or heirloom furnishings, you’ll want to consider these steps.

  • Install outdoor sprinklers that can be activated remotely or automatically when a fire is detected.

  • Ensure you have a reliable backup power source to keep fire protection systems operational during outages.

  • Participate in the Wildfire Defense Program.


The Wildfire Defense Program is a combination of proactive measures and fire-fighting technology that proactively protects homeowners of luxury residences. It’s a partnership with firefighting teams who use a variety of techniques to mitigate exposures that help reduce the risk of fire-related losses.

Lockton can help you determine if this program meets your specific needs and will help select an optimal carrier partner. For more information, read our short blog (opens a new window) on the benefits of participating in the Wildfire Defense Program.


  • Identify multiple clear, accessible evacuation routes from your home.

  • Consider moving luxury items to a secure location prior to fire season. Many cities offer access to fire-proof vaults for everything from jewelry collections to vehicle storage.

  • Prepare a mobile emergency kit with essentials for 3-7 days for each member of your household including water, food, medications, and power banks for mobile devices. Don’t forget hygiene and baby supplies.

  • If you have pets, make sure you design a plan to safely transport and care for them. They need food and water, too.

  • Establish a communication plan with family members and neighbors to stay informed during a wildfire.

Protecting your biggest investments – both financial and emotional - from wildfires involves a blend of thoughtful landscaping, utilization of fire-resistant materials, and advanced fire protection systems. Not only will these steps help you and your loved ones remain safe and secure, but they are also crucial for preserving the beauty and value of your luxury homes.

Learn more about how Lockton can help you identify and select optimal insurance coverage for the unique needs of primary home, condo, vacation home, penthouse, or estate by visiting our webpage (opens a new window).

The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be considered professional advice. Please consult with a Lockton representative for information regarding specific insurance products and services.