According to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), there were 480,000 structure fires in the US in 2019 alone! In 2020, close to 60,000 wildfires were reported.
While these numbers are alarming, science and experience indicate that they’re only going to rise as the planet warms up. Even though most homes nowadays are sturdy, well-constructed structures, they are sadly not built to withstand fires.
Combating global warming is one of the solutions that policymakers and experts are working on. Meanwhile, homeowners should find more immediate solutions like fireproofing.
If you are looking for fireproofing your home, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to.
The site around your house is the first line of defense if the fire is spewing over from neighboring structures. You should thoughtfully arrange it so that the flames have to cover longer distances before they reach your house. Your house should stand at least 100 feet away from any woods.
Clearing any thick bushes close to the house may not stop the fire, but it will afford you more to escape and for the firemen to arrive. Similarly, keep your yard free of fallen twigs, dead trees or shrubs, and fallen leaves, which may provide fuel to a spreading fire. When it comes to planting season, fill your yard with short, high moisture plants like aloe vera or lavender.
Use metallic fencing instead of wood and line your paths with stones. Make your driveway big and with as few turns as possible to allow easy access for firefighters.
The least combustible materials for your roof are class A materials. They include fiberglass, clay tiles, and asphalt shingles. These materials have excellent qualities that enable them to withstand fire for up to four hours before igniting. They also don’t allow a flame to spread and can fight being ignited several times.
To ensure the most fire protection for your roof, use a cap sheet lining that is fire resistant. Ensure there are no spaces between the roofing tiles by interlocking them tightly. These spaces may allow embers to enter the house and burn it from the inside out.
The pine needles and fallen needles that fill gutters are highly flammable, so clear them out regularly.
3. Exterior of the house
Your house’s exterior walls are the second line of defense in case the fire reaches the home. Using materials such as adobe, stucco, concrete blocks, or metal will keep your walls stylish while making them non-flammable.
The underparts of balconies and roofs trap flames and are therefore subject to the highest heat. They should be built using fire-resistant materials to ensure they retain structural integrity even during fires.
All the vents that connect the house to the outside can allow flames to enter your home. For fireproofing them, use metal wire screens and fire dampers that close immediately after the fire is detected.
4. Doors and windows
Wooden or plastic doors will provide more fuel to a fire. When fireproofing, use either glass or metal doors. Have a contractor install a metallic, tight-fitting door to prevent embers from sneaking in under the door. Consider replacing your wooden door and window jambs with metal ones for added protection.
Double-glazed windows have many advantages but using tempered glass gives the house extra fire resistance. Tempered glass can withstand higher temperatures than regular glass even though it costs slightly more.
5. Extra features
Even after installing all the listed fire-resistant features, fire may still engulf your house. Installing fire fighting equipment such as sprinklers in all parts of the house may help combat fire at least until firefighters arrive. Having a portable generator will help power the sprinklers in case power goes out.
Using fire-resistant materials on your roof, doors, windows, walls, as well as landscaping properly, may not make your home entirely fireproof. However, observing those steps will go a long way in reducing the risk of your
In case you need any assistance feel free to contact us!