How to Create a Wildfire-Resistant Exterior
Building materials and design play a significant role in determining the amount of exposure a structure can endure before catching fire.
Below are some guidelines to follow to create a wildfire resistant exterior to your home or business:
- Use Class A roofing materials that are tested ASTM E108 or UL 790.
- Choose wall materials that resist heat and flames, such as cement, plaster, stucco and concrete masonry.
- Install single- or dual-pane tempered glass windows, doors and skylights which typically withstand the radiant heat exposures capable of igniting the surrounding combustible materials.
- Eaves, fascias and soffits should be boxed or enclosed with noncombustible materials to reduce the risk of wind-blown embers becoming lodged there.
- Vented openings in the attic, foundation and subfloor should be screened with 1/8-inch mesh to keep out flying embers.
- Install a spark arrestor in chimneys that is made from welded wire or woven wire mesh with 1/2-inch openings.
- Box in the undersides of overhangs, including room push-outs, bay windows, decks, porches, carports and balconies with noncombustible or fire-resistant materials.
- Replace address numbers with noncombustible, reflective numbers that are clearly visible from the road.
- Fences made of combustible materials should be separated from a home or business with a metal gate.
- If your home or business is gated or in a gated community:
- Make sure the gate opens inward and is wide enough to accommodate firefighting equipment.
- The gate should be at least 30 feet off of the main road, so that the equipment can pull off the road to open the gate.
- If possible, widen your driveway:
- A width of at least 12 feet will accommodate firefighting equipment.
- Trim trees over driveway to create at least 13 feet of vertical space.
Add Another Level of Home and Business Protection
You can further expand your protection by complementing your wildfire-resistant home or business with reliable insurance. Farm Bureau Insurance has been covering South Carolina members for over 50 years. No matter what type of insurance coverage you need – homeowner's, business, farm, liability, life, health, etc. – Farm Bureau Insurance can provide you with the service and security you need.