Friday, December 8, 2017

Fire Safe Construction - Tips

By Matthew Power
In recent years, as many as 2,000 homes (annually) have been destroyed by wildfire, a loss inflated by drought conditions in both eastern and western states, along with steady encroachment of development onto "frontier" lands. Jim Smalley, manager of wildland fire protection for the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), notes that some home builders have taken an active role in fire prevention--often getting some perks in the process. The NFPA's Firewise program holds frequent meetings where builders can share ideas with fire experts.
"We had some New York builders who attended our workshops," he notes, "and they added a whole new level."

While "fire people" tend to focus primarily on the use of non-combustible materials, he explains, builders talk about changing the layout of lots or the way streets interact with properties. "Instead of homes on the side of the cliff, for example, they came up with a way to wrap the road around the crest below. That gives them more prime lots with great views, and a firebreak. We've actually seen it work in real fire situations." Of course, product choices still play a big part in fire prevention, but like so many other aspects of housing, they have to be considered as part of the whole package.
"We're especially interested in different kinds of materials for fences and decks," notes Smalley. "A lot of the new [composite] decking materials look promising, because they don't tend to burn the same way wood does. In many cases they appear to sort of fall apart and drop to the ground without further spreading the fire."
From the ground up
What's the incentive for builders to address wildfire risks? "They get a much better project out of it," asserts Smalley. "Rather than doing the design and trying to get it approved--only to have somebody say, 'You didn't take this into account,' you begin the whole process up front. You talk to land planners, national park people, the Nature Conservancy. You say, 'This is what we have in mind,' and collaborate on how to get there," he explains.
"Of course, the builder also wants to maximize profit," Smalley adds. "We have seen some builders using the fact that homes are in a Firewise community as a selling tool."


"We don't need to have an adversarial relationship with builders," he adds. "What we need is more collaboration. The problem has always been that we're interested in public safety and the builder is interested in making a living. We're now bridging that divide." He adds that home buyers need to shoulder personal responsibility for keeping their homes in accordance with fire-safe practices. "That means clearing leaves, cleaning gutters--they need to take personal responsibility," he says.
"Insurance companies don't offer special incentives for Firewise homes," Smalley adds. "That's because wildfire is so unpredictable. But we do know that all the big fires you see on TV aren't the ones that burn homes. It's the little bitty fires, the firebrands and embers that drop on the house from a mile away. Of the 200 homes that burned down in the Los Alamos fire, the majority were 18-inch flames--just ground fires that crept across people's lawns."
1. Stay detached
Keep in mind that many rural fires begin as vehicle fires. Also, outbuildings such as garages and storage sheds often contain flammable materials, such as paint thinners and gasoline. By keeping them detached and well separated (30 feet seems to be the preferred minimum) from the main house, a bigger loss may be prevented.


2. Upgrade glazing
As a general rule, insulated (double-pane) glass holds up longer than single pane when faced with the heat of a wildfire. Consider tempered glass. Sliding doors are tempered and insulated and have been found to withstand heat longer than standard plate glass. In general, smaller window panes survive better than big ones. Also, steer away from acrylic skylights. They can quickly melt and leave a gaping hole in the roof. Another good alternative if budget permits: Add non-flammable shutters similar to hurricane shutters.
3. Armor the roof
On the home's roof, install a Class A, fire-rated material, such as standing seam, tile, slate, or cementitious composite roofing. If you must use wood shakes, apply a good fire treatment but inform owners that the treatment is only good for a limited time (usually five years or so). A steeper roof pitch has much better fire resistance than a flat one. Burning embers roll off before they have time to burn through. Inform homeowners that they need to clean gutters to maintain fire safety.


4. Screen entry points
To keep flaming material from finding a way into the inner recesses of the home, critical areas should be covered with a 1/8-inch wire mesh. These include soffit vents, gable end vents, and even dryer vents. Be aware that nylon window screens may melt. Pay special attention to basement windows, where fire may be hottest and glass may break. Shroud chimneys with a 1/4-inch wire mesh but be sure to consult the manufacturer about proper tolerances--so as not to create a buildup of exhaust gases.
5. Armor the walls
For siding, specify non-flammable material, such as fiber-cement siding, Cultured Stone, brick, or stucco. Avoid untreated wood. Vinyl siding may be adequate if fire can find no route to burn too close to the house (it tends to melt and slough off), but all gaps and crevices beneath the vinyl must be sealed--or fire could find a way into the structure. To protect the base of the siding, where wood sills may overhang the foundation, consider putting a perimeter of crushed stone, so fire can't get a foothold adjacent to the house.


6. Plan decks with care
Wood decks often provide fuel for wildfires and ignite the house. If you do use wood, it should be treated against fire. Better yet, consider building with composites, which may spread fire less quickly. Also, look at concrete products and think about terracing and landscaping as an alternative to a traditional wood deck. Put metal screening around the crawlspace beneath the deck, to keep fire and embers out.

Perimeter Defenses

Site the home with wildfire burn patterns in mind. * Find the level. Wildfire generally moves faster uphill, with longer flames than on level ground. Rate of fire spread may double for every 20-degree increase in slope. Build at least 30 feet back from any ridge or cliff, on level ground if possible.
* Clear the fuel. Encourage the homeowner to maintain a "fuel-free" area of landscaping around the home. Keep dead or flammable vegetation well clear of outbuildings and the main house. Clear small shrubs and trees growing under larger trees. Space large trees at least 30 feet apart, and prune branches to a height of 8 to 10 feet. Place shrubs at least 20 feet from structures.
* Mind the fence. Flammable wooden fences can act like an incendiary fuse, leading flames directly to the house. Create a firestop of masonry between the house and the fence--or simply build the fence of masonry or metal components.
* Open the gates. For gated communities, be sure to include provisions for emergency override of any gate that might restrict fire trucks or emergency vehicles. Also, the subdivision should include two access roads, separated by significant distance.

54 comments:

  1. Awesome you have shred nice tips for safe construction. Now a days General Contractor NYC are even using safety measures to do safe construction. To know more about safe construction visit constructionrepairnyc.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for some other informative website. The place else may just I get that kind of information written in such a perfect method? I have a venture that I am simply now running on, and I’ve been at the glance out for such info. HeatonBrosRoof.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. Top construction tips for roads. You can visit Ottawa Paving Contractors is one of the best paving contractors.

    ReplyDelete
  4.  Muddy or wet grounds would make a bad choice for the location of your shed. The soil can easily shift, and once it does, the shed could easily disintegrate as well. woodworking projects

    ReplyDelete
  5. Its a great pleasure reading your post.Its full of information I am looking for and I love to post a comment that "The content of your post is awesome" Great work. American Dream Homes, Inc.

    ReplyDelete
  6. It's hard to find experienced people on this topic, but you seem like you know what you're talking about!
    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  7. I don’t suppose many of websites give this kind of information. hyderabad mall list

    ReplyDelete
  8. I constantly emailed this site post page to all my friends, because if prefer to read it then my all friends will too.
    food court

    ReplyDelete
  9. The writer understand better the mind of people what they want to learn through their writing therefore this article is outstanding. Thanks!!!
    food court in hyderabad

    ReplyDelete
  10. Since construction business is one of the fast growing and one of the largest industries of the world, the field promises career opportunities and favorable compensation.roofing company Minneapolis

    ReplyDelete
  11. Also, on the off chance that you consider something unique you need your construction site to do, ask us and we'll demonstrate to you how it should be possible with one of our video instructional exercises. Saudi Arabia tower crane signage

    ReplyDelete
  12. This is something that all future home owners should know. For more construction tips, visit this guide in choosing the right construction company for your needs.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Without having completely recognized and surveyed, the fire dangers, and results to life in the premises, the assessor would be probably not going to reach the right finish of the hazard to life inside that building.Fire protections

    ReplyDelete
  14. Graet article, learned many things about house building from your blog, very informative. The Villas in Perumbakkam is among the best in Chennai.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I wish to indicate because of you only to bail me out of this specific trouble. As a consequence of checking through the net and meeting systems that were not beneficial, I thought my life was finished.
    fire and safety courses in chennai

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thank you very much for writing such an interesting article on this topic. https://gamehacker.wiki/apk/ https://tweakbox.site/apk/ https://mmsuperpatcher.xyz/apk/

    ReplyDelete
  17. You're soooo talented in writing for Tub resurfacing companies this information. God is truly utilizing you in tremendous ways.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Construction projects are also more productive when you know when to get the right materials in the right time. deyaar properties for sale

    ReplyDelete
  19. It has been just unfathomably liberal with you to give straightforwardly what precisely numerous people would've promoted for an eBook to wind up making some money for their end, basically given that you could have attempted it in the occasion you needed.industrial safety course in chennai

    ReplyDelete
  20. I have read your blog and I gathered some needful information from your blog. Keep update your blog. Waiting for your next update.
    nebosh course in chennai

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hello! Someone in my Facebook group shared this website with us, so I came to give it a look. I’m enjoying the information.
    iosh safety courses in chennai

    ReplyDelete
  22. Wow, cool post. I'd like to write like this too - taking time and real hard work to make a great article... but I put things off too much and never seem to get started. Thanks though. Contractors in Sarasota

    ReplyDelete
  23. Well Said, you have furnished the right information that will be useful to anyone at all time. Thanks for sharing your Ideas.
    fire and safety course in chennai

    ReplyDelete
  24. The quality of your blogs and conjointly the articles and price appreciating.
    hero tameer

    ReplyDelete
  25. At the same time, construction supervision are responsible for controlling the expenses towards construction and labor cost, while monitoring the cost of the project and the estimated overall budget and the projected material and labor costs. commercial roofing Toronto

    ReplyDelete
  26. I read numerous blogs in a day but never came across such a well written blog about steel buildings and steel frames for up & over doors . Good work!

    ReplyDelete
  27. You have shared great tips about construction safety which is more usable and impotent.If you want you can our website where you will know about more best training courses online safety courses Canada.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Whoa! I’m enjoying the template/theme of this website. It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s very hard to get that “perfect balance” between superb usability and visual appeal. I must say you’ve done a very good job with this.
    offshore safety course in chennai

    ReplyDelete
  29. Home should by considering all the safety purpose. Get the proper home construction services from Coral Construction Group who is known for the Luxury Home Builders Miami and provides the best residential construction.

    ReplyDelete
  30. This is a decent post. This post gives really quality data. I'm unquestionably going to investigate it. Truly exceptionally valuable tips are given here. Much obliged to you to such an extent. Keep up the acts of kindness. ספרינקלרים תקן

    ReplyDelete
  31. Hey, this day is too much good for me, since this time I am reading this enormous informative article here at my home. Thanks a lot for massive hard work. 안전놀이터

    ReplyDelete
  32. Nice to read all these safety tips on fire safe construction. Hope everyone should follow all these tips as possible.

    ReplyDelete
  33. It’s really such nice information to get advantage from.
    uk phone number

    ReplyDelete
  34. It feels awe-inspiring to read such informative and distinctive articles on your websites.
    old indian songs

    ReplyDelete
  35. All the tips shared by you is good. I am appreciate your efforts for make this blog. Metal buildings is provide the great deign in metal building for garages, mini storages, commercial metal buildings.

    ReplyDelete
  36. These tips are really valuable for working at the construction site. Get the proper whmis online training course who will guide for working at the construction sites safely.

    ReplyDelete
  37. You truly did more than visitors’ expectations. Thank you for rendering these helpful, trusted, edifying and also cool thoughts on the topic to Kate.
    nebosh course in chennai
    offshore safety course in chennai

    ReplyDelete
  38. This is one of the most important blogs that I have seen, keep it up!
    best IP cameras

    ReplyDelete
  39. Fire is not the easy to handle. Get the lockout tagout training course for working safely at the construction site.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Located in Lake Worth, Florida, J&M Contractors of South Florida Inc. Roofing Division are your expert roofing contractors with a hybrid of experience and knowledge in the roofing industry, our team members have been serving Palm Beach County, Broward County and Martin County for over 30 Years.

    New Roof Installation Palm Beach

    ReplyDelete
  41. Thank you I am glad about the encouragement! I love your site, you post outstanding.
    self storage security

    ReplyDelete
  42. This blog post is really great; the standard stuff of the post is genuinely amazing.
    security camera mounts

    ReplyDelete
  43. The written piece is truly fruitful for me personally; continue posting these types of articles.
    self storage camera system

    ReplyDelete
  44. There are so many choices out there that I’m completely confused. Any suggestions? Thanks a lot.
    fire and safety course in chennai
    safety course in chennai

    ReplyDelete
  45. Thanks for sharing this useful tips with us. Looking for the construction team who construction your house, Prestige Steel Buildings are experts in the design & construction. For the more details you can visit on Steel buildings Nunavut

    ReplyDelete
  46. Your website is terribly informative and your articles are wonderful.
    car wash camera systems

    ReplyDelete
  47. Seems like you work in the decking industries. For tackling the heavy objects and tools you should get the safety harness course. WHMIS & WHMIS 2015 Online provides training in these courses.

    ReplyDelete
  48. I’m going to read this. I’ll be sure to come back. thanks for sharing. and also This article gives the light in which we can observe the reality. this is very nice one and gives indepth information. thanks for this nice article... קבלן שלד מחיר

    ReplyDelete
  49. Awesome work! That is quite appreciated. I hope you’ll get more success.
    telephonecodes.org

    ReplyDelete
  50. Really such an interesting article and I am really glad that I found this useful blog which gonna be useful for many things which I am gonna involve.
    Color Homes Review
    Color Homes Poonamallee Review
    Color Homes Perumbakkam Review

    ReplyDelete
  51. Awesome work! That is quite appreciated. I hope you’ll get more success.
    telephonecodes

    ReplyDelete
  52. I have spent a lot of the time in different blogs but this is really a unique blog for me.
    locksmith near me

    ReplyDelete

How Virtual Reality (VR) in Architecture Can Improve The Design Workflow

AEC professionals can use immersive design review across all stages of the design process - but knowing when and how to best use VR is j...