Just how practical and costly would a near fireproof res. really be -
compared to standard stucco and wood frame?
Did a google and found next to nothing. I'm thinking about the recent
fire storms in California. Sparks and fire moves like a high wind
snow storm - down, sideways and even up under anything above ground
First there is no such thing as fireproof - only near fireproof.
Given the above conditions it would appear that the construction would
need to be near air tight in order to keep out fire. Any vents or
even roof tile would likely be major problems. Vents (no plastic)
would need steel covers - to be manually closed prior to the event.
Glass in windows or doors?? The roofing (even tiles with air gaps)
would be a real problem.
Any suggestions or links (other than reinforced concrete boxes)?
On Fri, 26 Oct 2007 11:40:30 -0700, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Seriously, assuming 100'-200' clearance of flammable all around (if
possible) stucco on wood would work if there are NO holes or vents and
a proper seal at the bottom (done how?). Most hurricane or storm
shutters I have seen are far from airtight and would allow sparks and
burning debris to fly right through. Roof tile would have a similar
problem. There can be no exposed wood or plastic anything.
Rather than a generator - have dual gas powered fire pumps from
adequate water source(s). One may not start when needed. Is design
not all about controlling costs while achieving goals. Others here
are far smarter than me...
This is something I've thought about, for a second or two, during a
recurring reverie where I can afford wooded recreational property within a
reasonable drive of my home town. I never get to far with it, since the
premise is pretty far-fetched, but non-combustible construction is an
obvious place to start. Fire shutters could probably handle the openings.
Landscaping/siting could be part of the answer as well. More than
airtightness, my limited thinking has focused on eliminating conduction
through non-combustible assemblies.
Everything's harder in tighter suburban contexts where there's less
maneuvering room in siting a building.
Don't you need a pressure gradient to move them? I don't know about fire
spread, but wind would seem to be all you've got, unless I'm missing
something. Besides, with non-combustible construction your entire fuel
supply would be limited to furnishings, no?
It's still a hell of a lot better than the wood-frame wood-sided wood-
shingle-roofed places of which I saw so very many in the expensive areas
near where I used to live in SoCal several years ago.
It's onething to at elast *try* to make a place fire-resistant. It's
another to build something that's basically a tinderbox, becuase it's
"stylish" - and then justify it with silly arguments that "nothing is
perfect". Of course nothign is perfect, but there is such a thing as
taking reasonable steps to at least *try* to safeguard your home and your
You are correct.
I do not practice any more but I do feel an obligation to at least be
informed - if of nothing else - at least about my own limitations and
where answers can be found. Australia never entered my mind in this
context before today. They clearly have a leg up on us down under.
Questions from the public never stop.
Australians come up with a lot of unique solutions. They sort-of have
to, in a way. But also, I think it's something that the place itself
inspires in people. My sister moved there many years back, and it's
interesting to talk to her because her thinking has changed in a number
of positive ways.
I occasionally think about taking a long visit there, but I'm afraid
that, if I did, I might never want to come back <g!>
It's not really *that* much simplification - it's common sense. It's
well-known that there are various things people can do to make a place
more fire-resistant - if they take steps to do so, each itam accomplished
should bring a corresponding reduction in fire-insurance rates. Perhaps
even a tax credit, as one can get when one insulates one's attic.
If one lives in a fire-prone area and chooses to forgo fire-risk-
reduction in favor of "style", it's unfair to make eveyone else bear the
burden of that one person's bad choice.
Try Google Australia eg
[remove line wrapping]
Correct - steel, concrete, timber houses all burn. Lightweight structural
steel looses strength rapidly. Heavy timber structures have good
resistance and may stay up, but the charring can't be fixed afterwards.
Yes, glass is very vulnerable.
Almost impossible, and there is a massive fuel load inside the house, so
hoses are needed inside as well.
Australian recommendations include blocking downpipes and filling
gutters, good firebreak all round the property. But all part of a
complete strategy, which includes the decision (if allowed) to stay and
fight, or secure as well as possible and get out, type of clothing,
vehicle movement strategies etc.
We have some remarkable success stories and many tragedies with
bushfires. Firestorms are something else entirely ...
Had to use:
Most of us do not even have a clue as to what is involved.
On Sat, 27 Oct 2007 18:00:44 +0000 (UTC), Troppo
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