FIRESMART FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Please refer to the FireSmart Canada website at https://www.firesmartcanada.ca for more detailed information.

 

Do fire-resistant exterior structure materials on my home and FireSmart landscaping on my yard reduce the threat of wildfire to my home?

YES – 85-90% of homes with non-combustible roofing materials and 10 metres of FireSmart clearance from flammable vegetation will survive a wildfire.

 

What type of roofing materials are considered “non-combustible”?

Roofs that catch fire are the main cause of building losses in the wildland/urban interface.

Many roof assemblies have a Class A, B, or C fire-rating.  Class A provides the highest level of protection of wildfire.  Fire-rated roofing assemblies include:

  • Clay/concrete tile
  • Asphalt/Fibreglass composition shingles
  • Metal
  • Fibrous cement shake
  • Recycled rubber

 

What type of siding materials are considered “fire-resistant”?

After the roof, siding material is the next most vulnerable component to wildfire.

Fire-resistant siding materials include:

  • Fibre-cement board
  • Stucco
  • Metal
  • Concrete/rock

 

Do “fire-resistant” building materials cost more to build my home?

FireSmart Canada is currently conducting a cost/benefit analysis.  Preliminary results indicate that cost increases for FireSmart roofing, siding, decking, and fencing materials are:

  • New Build – $6 – $9 per square foot.
  • Retrofit – $19 – $27 per square foot.

The final FireSmart Canada cost/benefit analysis is scheduled for release in November/2019.

A 2018 study conducted in Montana can be found at https://headwaterseconomics.org/wp-content/uploads/building-costs-codes-report.pdf

 

What are Wildfire Risk Assessments?

A “Wildfire Risk Assessment” is a pre-development assessment, prepared by the developer and conducted by an experienced wildland/urban interface professional, to evaluate the current wildfire threat potential to a proposed development site and to provide recommendations to reduce the wildfire threat to new development on the site.