SOURCE: MonierLifetile

September 17, 2008 17:00 ET

MonierLifetile Concrete Roof Tile Is at the Top of the List for Fire Safe Building and Remodeling

New California Fire Safe Building Standards in Effect January 1, 2008

IRVINE, CA--(Marketwire - September 17, 2008) - Practically everyone has seen television news coverage of homeowners hosing down their roofs while flames threaten to destroy their property. Wildfires cannot be avoided but proper building techniques have proven to greatly reduce the threat to homes and businesses. Concrete roof tile is an important part of the fire safe building equation.

The 2007 wildfires in Southern California wreaked a path of destruction but there were communities where fire-safe building methods saved lives and homes. As reported by the Los Angeles Times, Stevenson Ranch, a 5,000-home master-planned community in the northern Los Angeles suburbs, emerged from the fires unscathed due to fire-safe measures, including the use of fire-resistant materials such as concrete roof tiles; double-pane heat-resistant windows; and enclosed eaves.

Fire safe construction means building in a way that reduces the ability of flying embers to get into the building where they can smolder and ignite. The CAL FIRE Office of the State Fire Marshal is in the process of implementing revised building standards approved by the California Building Standards Commission which improve construction requirements in designated fire hazard severity zones. The new codes took effect January 1, 2008 in the State Responsibility Area and on July 1, 2008 in the Local Responsibility Area. The following ignition resistant standards will make homes and businesses more resistant to wildfire:

Decks enclosed with ignition resistant material to within six inches of the ground;

Eaves protected on the exposed side with ignition resistant material;

Roof built to Class A fire resistant standards in state responsibility areas and in very high Fire Hazard Severity Zones in local responsibility areas;

All under-floor areas enclosed;

Dual-paned tempered glass for all exterior windows;

Ignition-resistant materials for exterior doors;

All exterior vents designed to prevent ember intrusion.

Wood roofs are one of the primary causes of fire spread in conflagrations in residential areas. Building or replacing a roof with Class A concrete roof tile protects the most vulnerable part of a structure during a wildfire. During a major fire, burning brands are carried through the air for miles landing on roof tops, igniting homes and spreading the fire to adjacent homes.

Class A roofing assembly is effective against severe fire test exposures. Under such exposures, roofing assemblies of this class are not readily flammable, afford a high degree of fire protection to the roof deck, do not slip from position, and are not expected to produce flying brands.

"The largest structural area of exposure to an exterior fire threat is the roof. For maximum fire protection of the home, the exterior of the roof should be covered with a non-wood, non-combustible Class A material, such as concrete roof tile," stated James F. McMullen, California State Fire Marshal (Ret.).

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