The under-eave area of a house is often overlooked when addressing vulnerabilities that can cause damage or loss during a wildfire. Neglecting this structural component increases susceptibility to heat from flames, which can become trapped allowing fire to spread into attic vents and through the attic. Embers lodged in gaps between blocking and joists can also result in ignition and fire entry into the attic. When embers enter an attic they can ignite stored combustible materials.
Research has shown that soffited-eaves and vents are less vulnerable to both ember entry and direct flame contact exposures. Wildfire research conducted by IBHS supports the use of soffited-eave construction; and additional research and guidance from FEMA also suggests a soffited design as the best option.
Learn more about under-eave construction and what homeowners can do to reduce risks in that area of the home in the Wildfire Research Fact Sheet series produced by the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) and the National Fire Protection Association’s Firewise USA® program.
Each fact sheet in the on-going series provides residents living in wildfire risk areas with important research findings that can improve their home’s chances of surviving a wildfire. The series also provides forestry agencies, fire departments and other stakeholders with an educational outreach tool that can be customized with an agency/department logo.