Fire-proofing Your Home: Three Ways to Build a Fire-resistant House
Our homes are filled with common fire hazards, from the kitchen and candles to electric appliances and heating devices. Even the plumbing system itself can be a potential fire risk, such as hidden pipe leaks. In 2007, a rookie plumber burned down a £5 million mansion all because of poor plumbing work. In such cases, this calls for the job of a professional emergency plumber to ensure other plumbing aspects are properly taken care of.
Whether big or small, fire damage can take a huge toll on our livelihood and finances. This is especially true for homes and communities located on wildfire-prone rural frontiers, particularly California. Many blame climate change for the increasing intensity of wildfires worldwide, putting billions of properties and livelihoods literally on fire.
While it’s impossible to fully build a fireproof home, builders now focus on making homes fire resistant. This is a necessary response considering how climate change contributes to the widespread wildfires across the Californian estate. With that in mind, we’ll discuss the possible ways to make your home fire-resistant and increase its chances of being left standing after turning ablaze.
Simply landscaping and layouts
Most of the trending home layouts these days aren’t designed to withstand fires. Simple, rectangular houses located on hillsides are far safer from fire hazards than homes with wings and terraces. This is because hillside properties have less exposure and are more contained. They have fewer surface areas for the fire to penetrate and are less likely to be filled with highly flammable materials, such as pine needles and tree leaves. Homeowners just need to clean and maintain the roofing and gutters every week when the fire season arrives.
Landscaping also deserves some attention. In California, state codes prohibit homeowners from growing their own vegetation around their properties. Instead, they recommend setting a gap of 30 feet between homes and gardens, bushes, trees, and other forms of green landscaping. This prevents vegetation and plants from turning into a kindle and catching fire.
While we want attractive landscaping near our homes, safety must always come first, especially if your property is in nearby wildfire-prone areas. Keep in mind that vegetation is a fire hazard, and it paves the way for the fire to reach your home.
For maximum safety, you may avoid planting any form of landscaping near the house. This way, there’s nothing outside the house that the fire can burn. A great tip is to surround the house with gravel to build a fire-safe landscape around your home.
Use fire-resistant materials
Your house itself is a form of fire hazard. Most houses are built from wood and other highly flammable materials that are at a higher risk of getting destroyed during wildfires. One of them is the roof, the most vulnerable part of any home. In fact, the roof is the largest surface area exposed to airborne sparks. This is because sparks can easily set fire on wood shake roofs, which is the primary reason behind property losses in forested rural areas.
Tar paper and asphalt shingles are less secure from fires since they came from oil-based materials that easily ignite when exposed to heat. Meanwhile, cedar shakes have the least protection. They can easily set fire even from the smallest sparks.
The ideal roofing materials have the best fire-resistant features, such as tile, clay, metal, and fiberglass. Use this material when building the roof or re-roofing. Block the open spaces between the roof decking to prevent catching embers. Also, make it a habit to remove accumulated plant debris along the roof surface. You must keep the debris from reaching any cracks and openings. Debris is often the main culprit why airborne sparks turn into destructive fires.
The same rule also applies to other structural areas of the home, such as gutters, foundations, outside walls, vents, decks, gutters, chimney, windows, garage, patio cover, fences, driveways, and heating systems.
Install fire protection systems
Last but not least, a fire-resistant home is never complete without fire protection and suppression systems. In California, the local government requires homes to install automatic fire sprinklers inside the living area. For added safety, install sprinkler heads on the patios, over decks, and roofing.
You may also install smart detectors to raise warnings in case of fire around the house. Traditional alarms only go off once they detect fire or smoke, but smart detectors send alerts to your phone and even firefighting authorities.
We cannot control natural disasters, but we can at least do something to lessen their destructive impact on our livelihood. Reducing environmental impact is one way, but you can also take critical steps to make your home fire-resistant against wildfires. So, if you plan to keep your property for a little longer, take time to make some changes to protect your home from fires.
Meta title: Three Ways to Protect Your Home Against Wildfires
meta desc: Building a safe haven is critical for homeowners living near wildfire-prone areas. Discover ways to make your home fire-resistant and protected from raging wildfires.