UPDATED, January 22, 2021
Strength and determination are only a couple of traits to describe the people of Paradise, California. Having been tested by the devastating California fire in 2018, it is admirable to watch and assist the families of Paradise rebuild their lives.
As we reminisce back to 2018, we’re following This Old Home respondent, Kevin O’Connor, as he joins survivors that have joined together as a community to build their city to be even stronger and more fire-resistant than before.
Using Fire-Resistant Building Materials
With the help of using fire-resistant building materials, you can slow down or even prevent fire from entering your structure. Let’s go over a few materials that you can use:
It’s best to use materials such as cement, plaster or stucco for your exterior walls. Also, using concrete blocks, stone or brick are great fire-resistant materials. Please note, PVC and vinyl siding are not effective at protecting your exterior from fire damage. They’re able to melt and fall away at relatively low temperatures, so keep that in mind.
Glass in doors, windows and skylights provide an easy entrance for fire to enter your structure due to their unforgiving resistance to heat. So, it’s best to have an extra layer of protection with the use of double-paned windows. Also, having tempered glass is good fire-resistant material because of its resistance to fracture at high temperatures.
Use specific fire-resistant roof material that is labeled Class A. Also, avoid doing wood roofing shingles altogether––including no chemically treated materials or coatings as they tend to lose their effectiveness over time.
Attic Vents, Soffits, Eaves, And Fascias
You can use noncombustible materials for enclosing or “boxing” them, as well as doing non-combustible screening over attic vents. It’s also a good idea to avoid using vinyl materials as they may melt and fall away due to extreme heat from a fire, which could provide a direct path for the fire to meet your structure.
At the top of your chimney, you can install a welded wire or woven wire mesh-made spark arrestor with openings less than 1/4 inches wide. Remember to keep your flue closed when you’re not using the fireplace to prevent any firebrands from entering your structure.
The spirit of the northern California town of Paradise lives on in the families and business owners of this close-knit community, and we will continue to provide our engineering services and advice to all who need it.
To make sure your structure is fire-resistant, feel free to contact us for a consultation. We’re always here to help!
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