Lesson learned after this building set on fire

Keep it from happening to your house

JACKSONVILLE, Fla – Watch this home go up in flames and learn how to prevent flying embers from scorching your house.

The home that burned up was in a South Carolina’s testing facility designed to compare how a home built with one half wildfire resistant materials compared to the other side constructed with common materials.

The results underscore the importance in keeping flammable materials like pine needles or dead leaves, twigs, bushes or plants more than five feet from the home. 

The part of the house expected to see ignition was the non-wildfire-resistant side composed with dead vegetation and flammable construction materials. 

As fire season picks up it is important to create defensible space around your home. 

The Insurance Institute For Business & Home Safety conducted the test to show homeowners the consequences of not taking reasonable, affordable steps to reduce their risk of property damage and loss.

The leading cause of homes igniting during wildfires is caused by wind-borne embers.

Some can blow more than a mile away from a wildfire setting dead vegetation next to your house or on your house ablaze.

Flames or radiant heat from your home can spark a chain reaction igniting neighboring houses in a community inferno. 

The contrast between the vulnerable & resilient homes shows scorched wood siding while the cement fiberboard is slightly seared but rather untouched.

Creating and maintaining defensible space will also reduce risks from wind-blown embers to decks.

Most decks are but mere match boxes lined up against your house and nothing that can ignite should be stored under a deck. 

An ignited deck can result in the ignition of combustible siding, or glass breakage in a sliding glass door.

Tips to minimize your deck from catching fire include increasing the gap between
deck boards from 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch.

Increase joist spacing from 16 inches to 24 inches because narrow joist spacing was a condition that could result in fire growth in the under-deck area. 

More suggestions are found on the ibhs.org website.

About the Author:

Mark Collins

After covering the weather from every corner of Florida and doing marine research in the Gulf, Mark Collins settled in Jacksonville to forecast weather for The First Coast.