(MS) – Fire will destroy most structures directly in its path, but there are actions you can take to increase your home’s resistance to fire during the construction stage. Here are a few important tips on this subject
The Location: Build your home on the most level, least windy spot of land available. Fires move up a slope faster than on level ground because hot gases rise and preheat its path.
The Roof: Ask for non-combustible roofing materials, such as metal, slate or clay tile, cement and concrete products. A fire-resistant, sub-roofing can also increase a home’s survivability.
The Walls: Building your home with concrete walls will be much stronger, more durable, more soundproof, at least twice as energy-efficient, and up to four times more fire-resistant than traditional wood-framed walls. Features double insulated, pre-assembled units that make construction much faster. Each wall form is steel-reinforced concrete and fire-retardant polystyrene foam that have a 3- to 4-hour fire protection rating compared to 20 minutes with a traditional stick frame home. For further protection against fire, homeowners might consider using fire resistive exterior wall cladding, such as masonry or stucco, instead of quick melting vinyl. Building with concrete walls can also provide added insurance savings due to its non-combustible nature.
The Fence and Deck: Don’t attach an all-wood fence or deck to your home, unless masonry or metal is used as a protective barrier between them and the house. If your home is built on a hill, remember that all exterior wooden features are in the direct line of a fire that is moving up the slope. Consider a stone terrace instead. Place wire mesh under porches below the ground line to keep sparks and flames out.
The Maintenance: Keep gutters, eaves, and the roof clear of leaves and other debris that might catch fire. Clear dead wood and dense vegetation at least 15 metres around your home and move firewood 40 to 50 metres away from the house, fence and deck. Do not allow combustible materials and debris to accumulate anywhere on your property.