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How Well Do Steel Barndominiums Protect From Wildfire

Assessing the Fire Resilience of Steel Frame Barndominiums

Understandably, the fear of dwelling damage or loss due to accidental fires deeply concerns homeowners. Yet those appreciating modern barndominiums blending steel building resilience with residential finishes rightly inquire regarding the fire integrity specifics defending their cherished spaces from flame threats. Thankfully, examining the inherent non-combustible qualities of quality steel construction illuminates the exceptional protection occupants enjoy

LOUISVILLE, CO – DECEMBER 30: A home burns after a fast moving wildfire swept through the area in the Centennial Heights neighborhood of Louisville, Colorado on December 30, 2021. State officials estimated some 600 homes had already been lost in multiple areas around Boulder County and were fueled by winds that gusted upwards of 100 miles per hour at times during the day. (Photo by Marc Piscotty/Getty Images)

According to statistics from the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC), an average of around 3,600 homes are destroyed by wildfires in the United States every year. Some additional key details:

– Over the past decade, an average of 3,590 homes have been burned annually by wildfires in the US, with significant year-to-year variation. This includes primary residences, vacation homes, and other structures.

– In peak, devastating fire seasons like 2017 and 2018 over 10,000 homes were burned across the country. In more moderate fire years, under 1,000 homes may be lost nationwide.

– The majority of home losses occur in western states where the overlap of forested areas and expanding residential communities increases fire risk zones. California, Texas, and Oregon tend to see the most homes burned.

– Beyond the dangers of the encroaching fires themselves, flying embers can travel long distances igniting homes and communities unexpectedly. Ember accumulation in nooks around roofs or attic vents is a frequent home ignition point.

– The trend over the last 30 years is a significant increase in homes and properties destroyed as rising temperatures extend fire seasons and embed flames deeper into the wildland-urban interface threatening more communities.

So although annual variability exists, wildfires now impact thousands of US homes in an average year, with risks still growing steadily as hot, dry conditions persist.

 

Fire Defense In Steel’s Properties
The engineered steel frame Barndominium kits boast extremely high 2500°+ F melting points, retaining formidable tensile strength even when glowing red hot. By contrast, devastating home fires rage 800-1000°F. This enormous heat tolerance affords massive insulating properties. While non-loadbearing interior walls may eventually fall, the primary steel network of beams and columns structurally perseveres over multiple hours allowing occupant escape – an improbability with wooden buildings collapsing within minutes amidst raging infernos.

Additional Shielding From Sheet Layers
Supplementary exterior steel sheathing options create further barrier layers retarding thermal breach should a fire ignite inside. Such envelopes manage heat far better than combustible timber materials feeding flames. Proper fire-stopping caulking within the shell further aids containment. While drywall finishes eventually burn away, initial integrity gains minutes slowing spread – crucial for emergency response. Even spray foam insulation options upgrade stability in firestorm crisis scenarios.

Below are some additional tips on how to protect your Steel Frame Barndominium from wildfires:

1. Defensible Space – Create a 30-100-foot safety zone around the building that is free of combustible materials like vegetation, firewood piles, etc. This prevents direct flame exposure.

 

2. Fire Resistant Landscaping – Incorporate fire-wise landscaping like rock beds, gravel pathways, high moisture plants, and trees instead of highly flammable varieties within 30 feet. Reduces fuel loads.

3. Other Fire Resistant Materials – Build roofing, siding, decks, and other external structures using non-combustible materials like metal, brick, or fiber cement. Avoid wood fencing. Upgrade windows to tempered glass.

4. Enclosure Protection – Box-in overhanging eaves, soffits, and attic ventilation openings to prevent blowing ember penetration. Screen vent openings. Use fire-proof caulking to fill gaps.

5. Sprinkler System – Install automated perimeter sprinklers allowing defensive activation when wildfires approach to saturate building surroundings. Useful if evacuating.

6. Backup Power – Upgrade the electrical service panel to accept generator input allowing a defensive sprinkler system or well pump to supply water if fire-related power outage occurs.

Advanced planning and purposeful plantings shape defensible spaces around steel barndos in fire prone areas. When wildfires strike, occupants also shelter more safely within the sturdy non-combustible steel Barndominium compared to less fire-resistant buildings.

In summary, well-constructed steel barndominiums citizens universally deserve considering ingrained country living allure steeped proudly in American heritage both preserving history yet expediting unencumbered dreams requiring spaces only the stalwart skeletal frames provide through stalwart resilience. Advancements modernizing the furnishings within need not determine the best points of progress difficult building forms provide when artistry aligns properly with the underpinnings of science.

Aaron Scott
Aaron Scott
Aaron Scott is a freelance writer and researcher that has written hundreds of articles for online companies in the area of construction, design, finance and automotive. He's a Southern boy that enjoys creek fishing, hunting and camping. He's rarely seen without his trusted beagle hound "Scooter"
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