MRA Calls For Stronger Home Building and Retrofit Standards in Western States to Protect Against Wildfire Threats
PORTLAND, Ore., Oct. 15, 2020 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — The 2020 wildfire season came with a terrible awakening for many West Coast homeowners: Areas in Oregon, Washington and California that were not considered to be in the path of wildfire danger were under extreme threat, resulting in evacuations and unprecedented destruction.
As fires still rage in many areas, home resiliency experts say the priority moving forward needs to be on being better prepared. Except for California, which updated its residential fire codes for new construction in 2008, very few western states have considered mandates for wildfire resilient housing in wildland-urban interface zones. Now leading trade organizations such as the Metal Roofing Alliance (MRA) are calling for the adoption of standards and potential incentives that could help homeowners better withstand the growing threat of wildfire in states and regions that currently have no such initiatives.
Because of the behavior of wildland fires, how a home or building is designed and constructed is the most important factor in providing fire safety. Smart mandates have the potential to help homes survive a wildfire unscathed, as proven by the California codes that require homes built in wildfire vulnerable areas to be built with fire resistant roofs and siding, interior sprinklers, decks and patios made of non-flammable materials, heat resistant windows and more. Research shows that homes built to these codes have sustained far less damage from wildfire than homes built prior to 2008 (https://apnews.com/article/e688e34240bb4217a13d9ddbe5062ffe).
“Gulf Coast states devastated by hurricane destruction have learned hard lessons about the need to build more resilient homes that can stand up to severe climate impacts and have established standards designed to help reduce the damage and danger to homes, such as those set by …