For those of you who may have missed this year’s Fire Season Prep show (see the link below) it was in my view perhaps the most important fire season show we’ve done to date.
Why? Well, apart from introducing you to ember-proof attic vents a few years ago there have been very few truly ground breaking advancements in fire-hardening for homes … until now. In the industry we say “fire-hardening” not “fire-proofing” because homes are complex structures and no product—no matter how bomb-proof it may be—can guarantee a home will be “fire-proof.” With that understood, we had Jim Mosely of Sun Fire Defense (SunFireDefense.com) share with us three fire-hardening systems available to Southern California homeowners which are about as bomb-proof as it gets.
- Paint-On Thermal Coatings - A durable thermal coating for your home’s exterior surfaces—pretty much any surface except windows—which forms a barrier against fire and radiant heat. Independently tested by an approved Cal Fire lab, it can be applied over paint, or be mixed into paint if you’re about to refresh your exterior, and it dries completely non-toxic and invisible. I’ve seen such coating demonstrated and it is impressive to say the least.
- Heat Resistant Window Film - Windows are the Achilles heal of home fire resistance. An otherwise fire resistant exterior is mute if the intense heat from a fire shatters the window glass. A shattered window in a wildfire is about as useful as a screen door on a submarine. Once the window breaks the fire is coming in. Regular window tinting film won’t help because it melts, but there are now window films (both clear or tinted if you prefer) which will hold even a broken widow in place to maintain the barrier. That’s a seriously smart move.
- Sensor Activated Perimeter Sprinklers - Sprinklers to protect the perimeter of the property before the fire gets near the house. The system is activated by heat sensors, can draw water from the city, a pool, or other reservoir, and which distributes a transparent fire retardant similar to the pink retardant we all see the helicopters dropping during a firefight. The retardant won’t harm plants and stays in place until rain washes it away.
So yes, there are some pretty smart, sane and common sense 21st Century systems now available to up your game and better protect your home come fire season. For more information on the systems mentioned above check out the podcast: