Fire Safety: Sparks and Embers

Guest User
12/8/2003
I live in rural Montana, in a forest fire-prone valley. I have a corrugated steel roof, installed in 1992. Sparks and embers are the greatest hazard to rural structures in a forest fire. Should I be concerned that sparks/embers can enter my home by blowing up under the ridge cap, or up through the "valleys" at roof edge? I have seen a photo of such a case in a fire in western Montana in 2003. How common is this? Are there ridge cap/eave modifications I can install to prevent such fires? Thanks very much! Alan
Allan Reid
Dura-Loc Roofing Systems, Inc.
12/9/2003
One should always learn by studying history. You are correct to some degree. While the metal roof is non combustible one needs to pay extra attention to the roof edges, most importantly the eaves. There has been many cases where the pine needles in the eaves gutters ignited in a fire storm and starter the overhang on fire under the metal. To protect from this ensure you have the gutters clean and instal a metal starter strip over the roof edge and down the fascia. The wind from the storm is the most deadly as it does syphon embers into any opening. Before ytou seal everything shut though you do need to pay attention to ventilation needs. Your ridge possibly already has a closure strip under the ridge cap which should protect however most are not fireproof. Some manufacturers supply profiled metal ones, so you may want to contact the manufacturer. The valley would probably be the least of my worries depending on the severety of the profile as it is not as wind prone. One could cut the rib ends and tuck then down quite easily if yo wanted. Hope this helps.
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