Cassey Robinson demonstrates a new software program to help protect homes in the wildland urban interface from fire.
At the opening session of NFPA’s “Backyards & Beyond” conference in Denver today, Cassy Robinson of the Savannah River National Laboratory gave an overview and demonstration of a newly developed science-based software program. The Wildfire Ignition Resistant Home Design (WIRHD) program came about as an initiative of the Department of Homeland Security looking to help prepare and protect the nation's homes from the threat of wildfire.
The Savannah River National Laboratory worked together with the U.S. Forest Service to develop this unique tool based on Jack Cohen's Structure Ignition Assessment Model (SIAM). Taking the science behind SIAM and adding a user-friendly graphical user interface, Wildfire Wizard came to be with the goal of providing a tool for homeowners, builders, fire agencies, and community planners to design, build, maintain ignition resistant homes.
Anyone is able to use this FREE web-based tool to input their own home's information and receive an output including home vulnerabilities with mitigation messages, links to instructional videos, the Firewise, FEMA and FLASH websites as well as an ember exposure probability. The simple eight steps for users are:
- Step 1: Home Layout
- Step 2: Roof Features
- Step 3-6: Wall Features for each side of the home
- Step 7: Features of the Home Ignition Zone
- Step 8: Ember Exposure
The target date for completion on the software is January, 2012. The program will then be available for all through the Firewise website by February 1, 2012 - so stay tuned!