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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

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.

House fires are much more common than people usually think. So, how common are house fires? Between 2011 and 2015, the U.S. fire departments reported an estimated of 358,500 residential home fires every year. In the reported house fire cases, there were about 2,695 deaths, 12,000 injuries and property damage averaging of $7 billion. Residential home fires usually start from open flames, accidents, and cooking, among other causes.

Speaking with Phoenix property management, OPM, residential structure fire deaths are 2.8 deaths per 1,000 fires per Fema and NFIRS 2018 report (https://www.usfa.fema.gov/data/statistics/states/arizona.html).

How Common Are House Fires? - Where They Typically Start

Kitchens - 50% of residential home fires

Cooking is the number one cause of fires at home. 50% of all reported fires cases started in the kitchen. Most house fires occur between 5:00 and 8:00 p.m -- which are the usual times when one is cooking dinner.

It is relatively easy to prevent such infernos. Be watchful while cooking and keep all flammable items away from the oven. It is prudent to be attentive while cooking and to have a fire extinguisher somewhere close.

Bedroom - 7% of residential home fires

An estimated 7% of residential infernos start from the bedroom. As you can imagine, bedrooms are packed with flammable items like mattresses. Bedroom fires spread very quickly. To be on the safe side, you will need to upgrade to a bed that adheres to the new flammability standards. In essence, that means ditching all mattresses made before 2007.

Chimney - 6% of residential home fires

Dirty chimneys can cause a chimney fire. In the reported 25,000 cases of chimney fires between 2011 and 2015, there was an accompanying loss of 120 million dollars in property damage. Regular cleaning is necessary to prevent these fires. Ideally, the soot residue should not be more than ¼ inch thick.

Living Room - 4% of residential home fires

A small percentage of residential home fires start from the living room. Culprits to watch out for include fireplaces, candles, faulty electronics, and HVAC systems. The presence of couches makes living room fires one of the fast-spreading infernos. To prevent living room fires, you will need to inspect fireplaces and service your HVAC system regularly.

Laundry Room - 3% of residential home fires

Three percent of all residential house fires start in the laundry room. The dryer lint is the most common cause of fires in laundry rooms. The vents and filters all need to be cleaned regularly. Stop the dryer when it starts to overheat.

Outdoor fires - 3% of residential home fires

Outdoor fires start from porches, grills and bonfire spots. These fires spread to the house when you don't put them out immediately. After enjoying a barbecue or fireworks outside, put out all fires before you retreat to the house. Not only will being careful with fireworks help prevent the risk of a house fire, but it will also ensure the safety of those around it. According to an article from the Insurance Journal, at least eight people passed due to a firework's mishap in 2017, and 12,900 were injured.

Attic - 10,000 residential fires every year

Perhaps the attics are the last place you would expect an inferno to start. Well, according to data from the fire department, that line of thinking is wrong. Usually, the leading cause of attic fires is faulty electrical wiring.

To prevent attics and all other types of electrical fires, watch out for exposed wires and have them sealed or replaced. Industry professionals recommend unplugging all electrical and electronic appliances after use and switch off lights when you leave home.

Home Fires

So, how common are house fires? An estimated 358,500 home fires occur every year. 50% of these fires start in the kitchen, 7% begin in the bedroom, and 6% are chimney fires, 4% of all residential home fires start in the living room, while 3% start from the laundry room. A small percentage (3%) of home fires start from the outdoors while 10,000 cases of all yearly home fire incidences start from the attics. In order to prevent a house fire from happening, it’s important to take all the preventive measures outlined to keep your home and family safe.

Experts estimate that the ideal temperature to set in your home during winter is between 70-75 degrees Fahrenheit if you live in a colder area. If you live in a warmer climate, like the Southwest, 65-68 degrees Fahrenheit will be better. However, you can cut back on energy costs by further reducing the thermostat by 8 degrees if you frequently travel. This article will show you the average home temperature in winter, while also keeping it safe from the possibilities of fires.

 

Average Home Temperature in Winter - Preventing Home Fires

 

How can I manage home temperatures when I’m away?

 

Sometimes, homeowners leave their houses during winter season to travel to much warmer places. If you’re one of them then it’s recommended to completely turn your heat/cooling system off for the period that you’ll be gone. However, this should only be done if there’s nothing in your house that’s at risk of chilling or overheating as a result of these temperature changes.

 

Additionally, have in mind that any machine or temperature-sensitive goods in the house may be affected by the fluctuations in temperature. Therefore, if you have such property in your home always consider setting the temperatures to a reasonable level in order to prevent any damage to your property.

 

 

 

What if I’m at home during winter?

 

If you’re not traveling in winter, then the perfect thermostat temperature for your home should be around 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Nevertheless, the majority of homeowners and HVAC pros recommend adjusting the temperature to this level while you’re awake, and reducing it slightly when you go to sleep at night. Generally, lowering your thermostat by 10-15 degrees for 8 hrs can minimize your heating bill by 5-15%.

 

While 68 degrees Fahrenheit is recommended, depending on where you live, you may not need to set the thermostat to this setting if you live in a warmer geographical area. You can also try some energy saving tips like wearing extra clothes, this will prevent you spending more money on your heating bill.

 

 

 

What if I have an infant or living with pets?

 

If you have a baby at home, you should preferably set the temperature to not go below 65-degrees Fahrenheit or above 74-degrees Fahrenheit. The ideal setting should be determined by factors such as your child’s age, health and mood.

 

As for pets, keeping your home at a winter temperature of 64-78 degrees Fahrenheit will work just fine for most of them. Likewise, if you have special pets such as amphibians, arachnids or fish remember not to set the temperature too low, or consider installing a heat lamp if it’s impossible to avoid the lower temperatures.

 

Do winter fires happen often?

 

Winter fires happen more often than one would imagine. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, there are $2 billion in property loss every year due to winter fires. Winter fires account for 8% of fires all year; however, in regard to fire-deaths, they account for 30%.

 

 

To conclude, the short answer to the average home temperature in winter is anywhere from the mid 60s to low 70s. Certain factors such as whether you have a child or pets at home or the duration of time spent indoors will determine the specific temperature setting you should put.