Monday, July 22, 2013

Wildfires and Home Design: Windows and Doors


Did you know that windows are one of the weakest points in your structure’s survivability? Standard, single-pane windows fail pretty easily from the strong onset of heat. If the heat from a wildfire breaks the glass of your windows, it will allow embers quick and easy access to the interior of your home. Also, if your window frame fails or ignites, the interior curtains or structure may ignite as well, again, sending your home up in flames from the interior. By investing a little money, you have the possibility to save your home.

Although Tempered glass will shatter it will not break.

Some different options for windows include tempered glass, windows clad in steel, double pane glass, triple pane glass and even single-pane Pyrostop glass windows. Also remember that the larger the windows of your home, the less chance of them holding up against the extreme heat. All of these options come with different price tags and fire resistance properties, but they can be big players in the protection of your home. SaftiFirst has a couple of products with fire ratings up to 120 minutes for both radiant heat and fire rating capabilities which would last through the quick, hot burst of a wildfire. Tempered glass is made to withstand the heat of a fire, but can sometimes be pricey. If you don’t want to shell out a lot of money for specialized windows, double and triple pane windows will provide you another barrier of protection against fire. If one pane does break due to heat and fire, then the idea is that the other panes will stay intact.

Windows clad in steel have less of a chance of catching fire and in turn catching the house on fire than if the windows had wood frames. Metal blinds and shutters can help your home's defense against an oncoming fire as well.

Exterior doors can also be beefed up in order to protect the home. Steel doors can provide a high fire resistance rating, but may not be the look you are hoping for. In that case, a wood door with a fire resistant core can be the best of both worlds. There are even some fiberglass doors that look like wood, but have a longer fire rating.

One last measure of protection against wildfires when it comes to doors and windows is to install shutters, shades or have home protection gel on hand. All of these things can be used right before evacuation to try to protect your windows and ultimately your whole home.

Our final post will be about construction of your outdoor deck or patio. Stay tuned!

1 comment:

  1. yes glass doors gives the different stylish looks for an building and also protects.

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