Living in California affords homeowners some of the most beautiful landscapes, arguably the best climate in the United States and some of the most stunning homes. One of the risks threatening these homes is that of wildfires. The standards and codes that are applied to newly built homes were created with the idea of protecting against fires started inside the home. The question remains, what happens when the threat of fire comes from outside? There are a number of steps that can be taken to insure that homes, both new and established, can be safe from wildfires. Murray Milne a research professor of Architecture from UCLA has outlined a number of important steps that can help protect homes from the possibility of facing a frightening wild fire.
Step One – Home site layout is the first step that can be taken to minimize the risk of your home suffering fire damage. By creating distance (ideally one hundred feet) between combustible material and your home significantly reduces risk. Additionally, by using driveways, patios and fire-retardant plants you can help increase the likelihood of being passed by, should a wildfire ever strike.
Step Two – Choosing the right roof and exterior can also help make your home a safer place. Ignition Resistant Roofs and an Ember Resistant Exterior lead to a flame and ember resistant environment. Despite the unattractive names, both of these options can be customized to the style of the home and no one will ever know that your home is a fortress against wildfire.
Step Three – Windows are one of the biggest weaknesses when a home faces the danger of wildfires. Homeowners can opt for double glazed tempered glass or even upgrade to add roll-down metal fire doors to increase the home’s protection.
Step Four – An easy enhancement to ensure safety is to install metal core doors to help keep flames at bay. A traditional door is rated for 20 minutes of fire protection, while a metal core door, specifically those with a metal jamb, provide significantly more and longer protection from fire.
Step Five – Something rarely considered when trying to wildfire-proof a home are the many openings, fans and vents that are used to keep Southern California homes cool and ventilated. These openings offer embers, sparks and flames a way to enter your home. By designing these vents and fans with fusible link fire dampeners, which are devices created to stop the spread of fire, you can secure your home even further.
Step Six – A final important step that can be taken is to install sprinkler heads in places like roofs and decks that can be turned on by way of a fusible link. By adding a small generator to address possible loss of electricity and water pressure, homeowners can put out any small fires that could be dangerous if left to burn.
By taking these important steps to impede the spread of wildfire, you can help protect your home and your family should wildfire threaten your community.
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(all data current as of 5/25/2017)
Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.