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Protecting Homes from Wildfires

COURSE NO: S08-003
Protecting Homes from Wildfires
Course Highlights

This online engineering PDH course introduces the principles and practices of home construction in wildfire zones. No building can be completely fireproof, but implementing the recommendations that are described in this course can greatly reduce the potential for damage to a building and greatly increase its chance of survival.


Wildfires are a common, natural, and essential occurrence in the forests, woodlands, brushlands, and grasslands of the United States and Canada. When conditions are acceptable, fire professionals use fire to revitalize the ecosystem and reduce accumulated vegetation that can fuel a wildfire under certain conditions. Although the severity and timing of fire seasons vary widely from region to region, wildfires often pose a threat to lives, property, and resources.


Wildfires can damage buildings through direct flame contact, convection (heat that rises from a fire and creates a smoke column), conduction (heat that transfers through material such as metal roofs and railings), and radiation (heat from a fire next to the building). Wildfires can also create burning embers that rise in the smoke column and fall on buildings. Firebrands (large pieces of wind-driven, burning material) can be blown through windows or lodged against a building and lead to ignition of the building.


Traditional efforts to protect buildings from wildfires have focused on fighting the fire before it reaches the buildings. With the expansion of residential construction into previously undeveloped forests and wildlands, more buildings are now at risk from wildfires. Since fighting or suppressing the fire is often difficult or impractical; buildings must therefore also be constructed to be fire-resistant.


This 8 PDH course is intended for engineers and architects who are interested in gaining an understanding of how to protect homes from wildfires.

Learning Objectives

This PE continuing education course is intended to provide you with the following specific knowledge and skills:

  • Understanding the hazards associated with homes located in wildfire zones
  • Being able to prioritize fire resistant construction
  • Knowing how to make fire resistant construction recommendations
  • Knowing how to select construction sites to minimize wildfire hazards
  • Understanding the exposure of roofs to wildfire hazards
  • Understanding the exposure of eaves to wildfire hazards
  • Understanding the exposure of overhangs to wildfire hazards
  • Understanding the exposure of soffits to wildfire hazards
  • Understanding the exposure of exterior walls to wildfire hazards
  • Understanding the exposure of vents to wildfire hazards
  • Understanding the exposure of gutters and downspouts to wildfire hazards
  • Understanding the exposure of windows and skylights to wildfire hazards
  • Understanding the exposure of exterior doors to wildfire hazards
  • Understanding the exposure of foundations to wildfire hazards
  • Understanding the exposure of decks and other attached structures to wildfire hazards
  • Understanding the use of fire sprinklers to protect homes
  • Knowing how to protect utilities and exterior equipment from wildfires
  • Being able to evaluate community infrastructure pertaining to wildfires
  • Knowing how to evaluate topography to protect homes from wildfires
  • Knowing how to manage vegetation to protect homes from wildfires
  • Familiarizing with the concept of defensible spaces in a wildfire zone
  • Knowing the basic concepts of preparing a home for wildfires
Course Document

In this professional engineering CEU course, you need to review the document titled, “Protecting Homes from Wildfires” which is based on the FEMA publication “Homebuilder’s Guide to Home Construction in Wildfire Zones”.

To view, print and study the course document, please click on the following link(s):
Protecting Homes from Wildfires (9.4 MB)
Course Quiz

Once you complete your course review, you need to take a multiple-choice quiz consisting of forty (40) questions to earn 8 PDH credits. The quiz will be based on this FEMA publication.

The minimum passing score is 70%. There is no time limit on the quiz, and you can take it multiple times until you pass at no additional cost.
Certificate of Completion

Upon successful completion of the quiz, print your Certificate of Completion instantly. (Note: if you are paying by check or money order, you will be able to print it after we receive your payment.) For your convenience, we will also email it to you. Please note that you can log in to your account at any time to access and print your Certificate of Completion.

To buy the course and take the quiz, please click on: