Texas Living

Closing the window on one wildfire myth

By Rachel Elmalawany 9.19.13

It’s hot. It’s dry. Wildfires are becoming a risk that is all too real in many parts of the state. If the time comes for you to evacuate your home, there is one big preparation you need to make before departing that may be confusing. Let us clear that up for you. 

  • Leave your windows open: Don’t. It’s a myth. You may have heard that you should leave your windows open to relieve heat pressure from a raging fire outside which might cause your windows to explode. Your friends might have told you to leave a window open to allow your pets to escape if they need to. Or you may have heard leaving windows open will make it easier for firefighters to enter your home. Forget all you’ve heard about leaving windows open and keep them closed.
  • Shut ‘em up. The Texas A&M Forest Service published a guide for protecting your home from wildfires. According to the guide, windows can break from a difference in temperature between the inside and outside of the house. Double pane windows provide the best protection, but you can also put a plywood “shutter” on each window to protect it from intense heat and flying embers.

Closing your windows will protect your home from smoke and burning debris that could get inside and cause damage. If you are worried about pets being able to escape, take them with you when you evacuate. Just remember to leave your windows unlocked when you close them in case firefighters need to enter your home.