In 2023, the National Fire Protection Association reported over 358,000 house fires in the US on average and that these incidents resulted in seven deaths. That said, sources of house fires vary a lot, and it’s never just the same reasons.
To build a safer home, homeowners and builders must know how to minimize the possibility of catching a house fire or at least keep you and your family safe from fire incidents. Hence, here’s a brief list of tips on improving your home safety and making your house fireproof.
Find the Best Team
Constructing a fireproof house has been an impossible feat until recently. Although it hasn’t been perfect, with proper planning and construction, chances of causing a fire in your house can be dwindled. Still, there are several factors you need to consider in this case.
If you want to take your chances of building a fireproof house, the best thing you can do is consult experts for advice. Note that many building agencies are more interested in profit than public safety. So, ensuring that your home is safe from fire is up to you.
Next, you should consider whether the company’s health and safety representative has received proper HSR training. Fortunately, in Australia, particularly in North South Wales, which had multiple cases of house fires before, many companies participate in hsr training nsw.
Meanwhile, in the US, multiple states also require this. Hence, you can easily find the best firm near your location. The only thing left to do is list down your choices of builders and experts.
Prepare an Efficient House Design
To build a fireproof house, you should carefully start planning the new house project, from the design to the materials you need. Depending on how you would want your house to look, there are several things you can consider.
First, if you have enough space, consider detaching your garage or storage shed from your house. Building your garage would be beneficial since many rural fires start from vehicle fires. Also, your storage shed might contain highly flammable materials, and keeping them detached and separated from the main building minimizes loss in case a fire does start.
However, if you don’t have enough space to have a detached garage or a shed, then you should make it a habit to regularly upgrade the machines and electrical wirings in these places. This is to ensure that there are no faulty wirings that can ignite fires.
Moreover, you must also keep the space tidy and clean. Throw away materials that are highly flammable but not needed. Most importantly, install heat alarms if you have extra money in your budget.
Learn More About Insulated Concrete Forms (ICFs)
Insulated Concrete Forms, or ICFs, are usually used in commercial and institutional buildings. Also, this material has excellent potential energy savings by reducing the energy required to cool and heat the building. Aside from that, the polystyrene blocks of ICF fit together perfectly like Legos that form a house shell.
Concrete (one of the most fire-resistant materials in house building) creates solid insulated walls that block weather and sound. Reports have shown that this setup can withstand fire for up to four hours. Utilizing this non-combustible material on top of other fireproof materials would improve the fire resistance of your home.
Protect Your Roof and Windows
For your roof’s layout, a steeper roof lets the embers roll off your home before they can burn through. Aside from that, installing Class A fire-rating materials, like brick stone or rock wool, has a speed rating somewhere between zero and 25, which is considerably slow compared to others. On top of that, always keep your gutters clean to prevent anything from your roof from catching fire.
Another weak link in your home would be your windows because they can serve as an entry point to your home. Extreme heat can shatter glass or burn any combustibles in your home without even entering the house. As such, choosing insulated double glazing with tempered glass on your window is recommended. Additionally, smaller window panes also last better than big ones.
Armor Your Walls
Now that you know what to do with your roof and windows, planning what to do with your walls should be your next plan. Your siding (walls) should be non-flammable materials like your roof, and consider using materials such as fiber-cement, brick, stucco, or anything considered a Class A fire-rating material.
Although wood can save a lot of money, untreated wood can easily catch fire. Though vinyl siding is a relatively better option, you should ensure that every nook and crevice is sealed to prevent fire from entering your home.
Aside from this, fire-resistant sheathing and treated plywood are good alternatives to untreated wood. This material is specially manufactured to deal with fire accidents and weather, so it’s highly durable and can protect you and your home. The sheathing decreases the chances of catching fire, lowering the damage in your home.
Keep in mind that building a fireproof house is just the first step to having a safer, fire-resistant home. At the end of the day, your daily activities and how you keep your home are significant in keeping your house from getting burned. So, prevent playing with fire, check your electrical lines, etc. As of now, carefully choose the right experts to consult and spend time shopping for fire-resistant home materials.