FireSmart home construction
By extending our lifestyles and neighbourhoods further into forested areas, we become more exposed to the danger of wildfire. Living where wildfires can occur puts your homes at risk, but it is possible to live safely and resiliently with this natural event.
Development standards play a significant role in reducing the potential impact a wildfire will have on a neighbourhood. A building is more likely to be destroyed in a wildfire when it is located in a high-density area where fire is able to easily transfer from building to building. The potential for damage intensifies when flammable building materials are used.
The following FireSmart Home Development recommendations will reduce the risk of wildfire to your home and neighbourhood:
The roof is the most vulnerable component of your home. Sparks and burning embers from a wildfire can travel long distances and quickly ignite flammable roofing material. A Class A fire-rated roof assembly offers the best protection. Examples of Class A roofing material include clay tile, concrete tile, metal and asphalt shingles.
Siding , Vents, & Openings
With the exception of the roof, siding material is the structural component most vulnerable to wildfire. Combustible debris can accumulate at the vents and openings on your home and be ignited by embers during a wildfire.
Siding Some types of construction materials, such as vinyl siding can melt when exposed to high temperatures, allowing the fire to reach the underlying wall components and penetrate the interior of the building. Stucco, brick, fibre cement boards/ panels and poured concrete all offer superior fire resistance.
Vents Install non-combustible material for all vents. Should be 3 millimetre screening or ASTM fire rated vents. Metal products are recommended for vents and vent flashing.
Gutters & Eaves
The gutters on your home provide a place for combustible debris to accumulate and open eaves create an entry point for sparks and embers.
Select gutters and downspouts constructed of non-combustible materials, such as galvanized steel, copper and aluminum. Ensure metal drip edge is in place as part of the roof assembly.
It is important to regularly inspect your gutters and eaves to identify any vulnerable spots or areas requiring attention. Keep these areas clear of combustible debris and properly maintained.
Decks & Porches
The materials used to build the deck, combustible materials you store under your deck, and the vegetation around it all contribute to how vulnerable your deck will be.
Select fire rated composite decking material for your deck and sheath the underside of the deck with non-combustible sheathing, such as fibre cement board or metal screening. Maintenance is very important, even if the deck is sheathed.
Removal of combustible debris and vegetation on, around and under decks and other attached structures is a key factor in reducing vulnerability to ignition during a wildfire.
Wooden fences and boardwalks create a direct line to your home and can contribute to the spread of wildfire.
Avoid attaching fences and walls constructed of combustible materials directly to your home or building. Use a metal gate or non-combustible fence panel that is at least 1.5 metres (5 feet) from the furthest projection (overhang, roof, etc) of the house.
Find information on FireSmart Landscaping
Download the FireSmart Begins at Home App
The FireSmart® Begins at Home app’s primary purpose is to engage homeowners in voluntary wildfire mitigation activities by offering a self-conducted home assessment. This app guides homeowners through a series of questions about their property to help identify specific actions you can take on your property to reduce wildfire risks.