The emotional aftermath of a home fire is overwhelming. In addition to furniture and valuable interior items being destroyed, irreplaceable pictures and other sentimental things may be gone forever, and it can feel devastating.
Once you’ve had a home fire, you’ll likely do everything possible to safeguard your dwelling to prevent that type of distressful loss again.
Which Siding Performed Best During the California Wildfires?
Due to climate change, fire season in California and throughout the western United States starts earlier and ends later each year. Spring and summer tend to be warmer, and more intense dry seasons make forests susceptible to severe wildfires. The length of California’s fire season has increased by approximately 75 days per year, and appears to correspond with an increase in the extent of fires across the state.
Learn from the Past to Prepare for the Future
Real life stories of families who survived California wildfires earlier this year can teach us how to prepare for and be protected from future fires.
One California family purchased a home covered in James Hardie fiber cement siding. When fire jumped from their neighbor’s studio to theirs, the Hardie siding was “like a giant shield,” and protected their home’s walls. Their dwelling remained largely intact despite the total destruction of their immediate next door neighbor’s studio. They recount that the reason they are alive and their home wasn’t engulfed was due to their home’s protective layer: Hardie siding.
At the scene, even firefighters were impressed by the generally good condition of the home even though it was so close to such an intense blaze. It was still livable, and when the family took pictures of the devastation that occurred to the nearby neighbor’s dwelling while there home remained largely intact, the photos provided tangible evidence of the protecting power of Hardie siding. Now, family and friends are inquiring about their siding. They see the stark contrast of the side-by-side structures that directly impacted their outcomes.
Note: If the homeowners had saved a few thousand dollars and purchased a home with vinyl siding rather than Hardie, they could have lost everything.
How to Protect Your Home and Belongings from Future Forest Fires
There are a variety of things you can do to fortify your home from damaging fires.
- Replace single-pane windows with multi-pane tempered glass windows.
- Install metal flashing where decking material meets siding.
- Keep your gutters, roof, and outdoor spaces free from debris such as leaves and twigs.
- Remove dead vegetation from plants that surround your home.
- Keep firewood at least 30 feet from your home.
- Use inorganic, noncombustible mulch such as stone or gravel.
- Use roofing materials with a Class A fire rating.
- Verify your soffits and trim are made of a fire-resistant material.
- Install fire-resistant siding with a Class A fire rating.
Which Siding Is Fire Resistant?
You can prevent or reduce the spread of fires by improving the fire resistance of your home’s exterior walls.
If you lost a home in the Southern California wildfires and you’re planning to rebuild, choosing sturdy, fire-resistant siding will help fortify your home against future damage.
- Fiber Cement Siding—Made of cement, sand, and cellulose, fiber cement siding withstands not only rain, high winds, severe storms, and snow, but also gives you reliable fire resistance to protect you, your loved ones, and your home.
- Brick and Stone Siding—Brick and stone are sturdy siding options that reduce the risk of fire. Brick doesn’t have caulked joints and may keep flames away from your home’s stud cavity and interior walls. And because many fires occur when flames get behind siding to the more combustible materials on the inside of a home’s walls, brick and stone siding save you from the costly and emotional hassle of fire damage.
What Is the Most Popular Brand of Fiber Cement Siding?
James Hardie is the most popular manufacturer of fiber cement siding. Covering over 8 million homes in America, this durable siding helps you rest at ease that your home is safeguarded from everything from fires to pests and moisture intrusion.
The Fire-Resistant Benefit of James Hardie Siding
In case of a fire in your California home, it’s vital to know its walls are protected while you and your family seek safety. Wood siding fuels fires and puts you, your family, and your possessions at risk. Vinyl siding melts not only in fires, but also when it’s in close proximity to high heat. Fire-resistant Hardie siding slows fires from spreading into your home and damaging it.
Hardie siding won’t ignite when it’s exposed to a direct flame, and it won’t contribute to fueling a fire. Some insurance companies offer discounts for homes protected by Hardie siding, so be sure to check in with your insurer once your siding is installed.
Fiber Cement Siding Fire Rating
Noncombustible fiber cement siding is Class A fire rated, meaning it can withstand several hours of heat before being impacted. This important feature gives you and your family time to escape your home, and gives the fire department time to get to your home to help put out the blaze.
Siding Installation for Your California Home
You don’t have to live with a fear of flame and smoke damage just because you live in California. With fire-resistant Hardie siding, you can have confidence you’ve fortified your home’s protective layer from damaging fire.
As a James Hardie Elite Preferred contractor, Approved Contractor will install your siding according to the manufacturer’s guidelines, ensuring your 30-year transferable warranty is honored.
California homeowners choose us for our superior customer service, premium siding materials, and optimal long-term results.
Schedule your free quote and fortify your home with fire resistant Hardie siding.