Fire Resistant Homes
In many areas where wild fires are prevelant, such as California, Texas, Colorado, Florida, and Arizona stricter building codes are being put into place. They require using fire resistant materials in high risk areas.
The photo to the right is a traditional wood home during a wild fire. Concrete is one of the best fire resistant materials available. With the Precise Forming System it is easy to create a home with concrete exterior and interior walls. With the many exterior design finishes available a concrete home can not be distinguished from a standard wood framed home.
The fire rating of concrete is not only determined by the thickness of the concrete wall but also by the materials used in the concrete. Please check with your engineer to determine what type of concrete and thickness is required for your region.
While concrete shingles or tiles do increase the fire resistance of a home, they do not provide as much protection as a solid concrete roof. With the Precise Ledger System it is easy to create a flat or pitched concrete roof adding additional safety and duribility.
The photo to the left is a pitched concrete roof with concrete tiles added for decoration.
Windows tend to be the weakest link when it comes to fire resistant homes. Multiple options are available. With newer dual- or triple-glazed windows the outer glass tends to break first offering extended time of protection for the interior layers of glass.
Adding a low emissivity (Low-E) coating to your windows adds even more fire resistance. Low-E film helps reflect the heat reducing the transfer of radiant energy to combustible materials inside the home such as drapes or furniture.
Tempered glass is even more resistant to high heat. It's the glass used in front of fireplaces for this specific reason. Tempered glass will stay intact throughout most fires. Tempered glass with Low-E coating will stay intact and it will transfer less radiant energy to combustible materials behind it.
Metal shutters can help protect a window even longer and they will not ignite. You will have to swing them shut in a timely manner should a fire approach.