Tips for Building a Fireproof Home
The recent wildfires in both Northern and Southern California razed tens of thousands of acres of land and destroyed hundreds of structures, most of them residential homes. With at least 76 reported dead and thousands more unaccounted for, fire crews have been working tirelessly to contain the flames.
2018 has bore witness to a particularly devastating season of wildfires, and the California wildfires are just the latest in a number of disasters affecting millions of people and thousands of structures in the United States. While it’s easy to attribute the intensity of the destruction to the homes being situated in a wildland area, the issues lies beyond just being located near coniferous trees in a climate that’s lately been running on the drier side.
California firefighters have been combing debris from the Paradise fire to determine why some homes were left standing while others burned to the ground. In a recent news report, investigators from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection are trying to figure out what exactly makes a house as fire-resistant as the ones that were left standing. This is all part of their effort to build a database that hopefully the state of California will be able to use in future projects.
Recent developments in the world of architecture and construction have yielded materials and techniques that help reduce the risk of a home being completely destroyed by a fire. Below are a few things to keep in mind when building a fireproof home.
Choose the right location
Build your home with the mindset that it may fall victim to a wildfire. By considering the topography, the likelihood of a home being affected by a fire will be drastically reduced. Wildfires generally move faster when moving up a slope, and wind strength and speed can help exacerbate the intensity and height of the flames when moving uphill.
If location choices are limited, however, make sure to build the home with a bit of distance from wildfire fuel like trees, shrubs, and tall grass. Additionally, including home insurance like Allstate house insurance to the budget won’t hurt in case location is not something that can be controlled.
Consider the materials
Building a house with the wrong materials is like building a house of matchsticks for the flames to consume. Choosing the right materials for a home can spell the difference between how intact it will still be when a fire occurs.
While it’s not entirely frowned upon to build a house using wood, it’s important to use wood that’s been fire treated rather than using raw, untreated wood. Over time wood loses its moisture, which makes it exceptionally prone to catching fire. If it’s in the budget, consider hiring a roofer that knows how to install slate roofing. Slate is a naturally occurring material that is commonly used as roofing material, owing to its flame, frost, and mold-resistant properties.
While it’s impossible to fully prevent fires from damaging a home, the two tips listed above can definitely help reduce the amount of damage that a home can sustain following prolonged exposure to flames. Building a house is a significantly huge investment, and that investment has to be protected at all costs by making the right choices even during the planning stage.