According to the National Fire Protection Association, on average, 400,000 homes are damaged or destroyed by fires, fetching an annual price-tag of approximately $7 billion. This is a staggering amount of money that could be kept in the bank if some steps to protect your home from fires are taken. Water is still used by fire fighters today, but fire retardant chemicals have become quite popular for an added precaution against the spread of a fire. Fire retardants reduce the flammability of materials that are known to fuel a fire, such as various types of wood, plastics, paints and textiles. These retardants can also delay a particular fuel's combustion. Chemical retardants are in the form of foams, gels and spray coating. Non-chemical fire retardants are certain trees and vegetation which can be easily placed around your home, not only for aesthetics, but also for fire protection. Most deciduous trees, such as aspen, maple and ash, are fire resistant as well as annuals, fruit and vegetable plants. Do not plant decorative grasses nor evergreens near your house, as these are quite combustable.
If building or renovating a house in an area that is of high-risk for wildfires and severe drought, use fire resistant building materials where ever you possibly can. Some examples of fire resistant roofing materials are slate, tile, terra cotta, sheet iron and aluminum. Fire resistant siding materials are brick and stone of many types. If you decided to apply wood siding to your home, have it treated with a fire retardant chemical. Investing in a Compressed Air Foam System, or CAFS, is another smart option for those in a wildfire zone. Also investing in an emergency preparedness kit would alleviate the worry about not having the essentials handy. If on a wildfire watch because there is fire in the area where you are living, apply the fire retardant foam over every inch of your home for precaution. If, fortunately, the fire is put out or directed away from your home, simply rinse the foam from your house with a water hose.
Class A or protein foam is certainly more effective at retarding a fire than is water when applied to your home and surrounding vegetation. If a fire has started inside your home due to electrical, (or human), error, the paint that you have used for your walls will either fuel the fire or retard it. Normal paint will certainly ignite, but if fire retardant paint is applied before a chance fire were to break out, the paint will swell, forming "char." This char is becomes an insulator or sorts, decreasing the paint's density. This process is known by the paint manufacturers to not support heat conduction, thus retarding the fire.
If, per chance, a wildfire may be predicted to turn your way, turn off the gas line. This will prevent an explosion. Close all doors and windows making your home as air-tight as possible. Move furniture and drapes away from windows and patio doors. Apply fire-retardant foam over your house. Apply fire retardant gel to any questionable vegetation that may be too close to your house. Clear out any loose brush that may be lingering near your house. All of these precautions and preparedness strategies should certainly deter your home being damaged, thus becoming just another statistic for the record. Learn more on how to protect your home from fire.
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