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All Places > International Fire Marshals Association > Blog > 2019 > April

Your home’s roof is a huge investment that serves several critical functions. Although most people are knowledgeable about roofing maintenance requirements, many are not familiar with the risk of fire and the importance of fire resistance when it comes to roofing materials. Understanding the basics of fire safety, the risks involved when it comes to roofing and the fire resistant roofing types goes a long way in helping to keep your home safe.

What Does it Mean to Have a Fire-Resistant Roof?

Roofing materials are categorized according to their relative fire resistance. This helps to distinguish the safety of fireproof roofing materials. As such roofing materials are divided into three main classes based on their fire resistance. Class A roofing materials are the most fire resistant, while Class B and C are progressively less resistant to fire. Generally, most fiberglass-based shingles will have Class A fire ratings while their organic counterparts such as treated wood shingles will have Class C ratings.

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are the most commonly used and economical roofing materials. When combined with fiberglass, the roofing structure becomes even more resistant to fire, earning a class A rating. Asphalt shingles require little maintenance and are quite durable. However, it’s crucial to take of this type of roofing as heavy winds can blow off shingles, leaving bare spots that can make the roof vulnerable to water and fire damage.

Clay and Concrete Tiles

Clay and concrete tiles are commonly used in commercial settings. They’re considered to be among the safest roofing materials. Clay efficiently dissipates heat and resists flames and when properly installed can achieve a Class A fire rating. They’re more expensive to install than asphalt shingles, but they’re also extremely durable. You can also easily change the style of clay and concrete styles to match your architectural taste and preference.


Slate offers double benefits of natural beauty and fire resistance. Like clay, it is inherently resistant to fire. Proper installation can help it achieve a Class A fire rating as well, but it’s considered a more expensive roofing material. It’s also heavy, which means it requires additional braces and beams to support the weight of the roofing material.

Metal Roofing

Metal roofing is available in the form of copper, zinc, stainless steel, steel and other alloys. They’re quite useful in damp coastal areas that are salty as most metals are not only fire-resistant but also non-corrosive as well as resistant to mildew and algae. Metal roofs can also be designed to look like any other desirable materials such as cedar shake or slate while still staying resistant to fire.

Bottom Line

Ultimately, your roof is a critical part of your residence, helping to maintain a stable temperature and also protect you from the elements. Depending on where you live, the risk of fires is a real possibility, and even if there are no dangers such as wildfires, there are other risks to be aware of. That’s why it’s important to know more about fire resistant roofing types so that you can choose the best roofing material for your home.