It’s hard to quantify the impact of home fires around the country, but the ensuing monetary loss is upwards of $2 billion a year.
Given the devastating effect fire has on property, it’s wise to learn about fire rating and specifically Class A rated materials so that you can protect your biggest investment, your home.
What’s Fire Resistance?
Fire resistance is the unique ability of materials to stop the spread of fire, hot gasses, and heat. When constructing or renovating a building, it’s a good thing to consider the fire resistance of the materials and components being used.
Class A Fire Rating
It’s the highest quality or standard given to insulation materials. Their flame-spread rating is somewhere between 0 and 25. Class A materials are fire-resistant. When they catch fire, they tend to spread flames much slower than Class B or C materials. Their high fire resistance makes them effective against many types of fire especially those caused by combustibles.
When building materials get exposed to fire, they can burn at different rates. The fire-resistance rating simply means how long a specific material can hold out against a fire. Materials are assigned a rating depending on their ability to resist fire. However, that’s not the way to determine the rating. Structural engineers and fire experts also use well-defined criteria, design documentation, and comparative ratings of two or more materials.
In Kansas City and St. Louis, all construction work has to meet the fire safety regulations set out by the local codes. For instance, homes and buildings need to have active and passive fire safety features. It’s illegal to use combustible materials in hidden spaces. However, homeowners can create partitions for their piping. Consult a local home inspection on what measures you should implement to enhance fire safety around the home.
Whether you’re building a simple family home or a condo, you should use fire-resistant materials with Class A ratings, as they’re not combustible.
Roofing: Various coverings have different fire ratings. Clay tiles, concrete, asphalt, and fiberglass shingles provide better protection. In some cases, builders may insert aluminum, rubber, or wood shales between the sheathing and the roof’s covering.
Walls: Interior walls also need to be fireproofed. The best way to do this is to create fire-resistant walls. They can rise from the foundation and go up to the roof, stopping the fire from spreading. Fire-resistant walls can hold out in a fire breakout and remain strong.
Below-the-grade areas: Sealing your basement walls with insulation material like fiberglass or spray foam can help reduce the risk of a fire breaking out.
Ways of Protecting Your Home
Because fire is a serious threat to many homes, codes across the country stipulate stringent measures for homeowners, which include installing and maintaining fire protection systems.
It also helps to cover your basement walls and the crawl space with fire-resistant materials. Not only does this prevent potential fires, but it also prevents thermal differences between your home and the below-grade areas. Your living space will stay cool in summer and warm in winter. Some materials like multilayer foil and single-ply membranes integrate waterproofing, fire protection, and heat retention.
In addition to insulating your house, make use of open space and fireproof walls and floors. These are passive fire protection systems that help slow down fires.
If you’d like to insulate your basement so it stays warm, contact Foundation Recovery Systems to discuss your insulation options or to request an initial free basement insulation inspection. We recommend ExTremeBloc™, the industry’s best. Thanks to its higher R-value per inch and unmatched durability, this insulation will create a fireproof basement that’s also comfortable throughout the year.