Firezat Fire Shield Information
How Can Firezat Fire Shields Help Save My Family Home?
Quick Answers to the Main Questions
Eaves are a major fire and heat trap so make sure you cover them. Burning debris is blown and trapped against your home and that heat rises and is focused under the eaves and extremely hot and a major ignition point. Next, cover the walls of your home, especially the lower parts that may trap blown burning debris against the structure. Finally wooden decks should be protected. Make sure if the deck is near the ground and is open below that you seal that area so burning debris and embers can’t blow under and start a fire. This is another major fire trap.
Some people will get a 1 or 2 fire shields each year and add to their ability to protect until they can cover the whole house if needed. Even if you just cover the roof and facing walls you have greatly increased the chances of your home surviving.
There is no one right way to wrap a structure, but there are some easy basics that help get the job done. Make sure you start with a plan. You may feel in the beginning you’re not sure, but after you have covered one wall you will be pro, and after two walls, an expert. It quickly makes sense.
Break the project into panels or blocks, IE.. The roof, the front of the house, then the right side, then the back and so on. Assemble your tools needed. Something to prop up the roll to spool off material and cut to size. Chicken wire and cutters, tape measure, ladders, step stools, staple guns and staples, needle nose pliers for staple removal, tie wire, sunglasses if deploying during the day, soaker hose if deploying water, and any others you need.
The best time to install is early in the morning or late evening before the winds pickup, light allowing. Always be careful when on ladders, roofs, transporting material and with tools.
First, attach the fire shields to the structure so they are firmly held in place. Example: If starting with the front of a cabin assuming the front wall is 30 feet across and 9 feet tall. Spool off 30 feet of material and staple it securely starting at the left side bottom of the front wall. Spool off another 30 foot piece and place it above the first layer overlapping the bottom by at least 2 inches. This wall is almost done. Continue around the structure until all combustible surfaces are covered.
Now attach the chicken wire overlapping the seam and stretch it tightly across the fire shield using staples to secure it. This will provide excellent wind resistance. Staple and stretch chicken wire on eaves, walls with recessed windows or doors, anywhere wind could be an issue, the more the better. Use a large Sharpie pen and outline windows and glass doors on the shields so you know where they are and a ladder isn’t thrown against the wrap and hits the window on removal. On removal, carefully remove staples with needle nose pliers mark each panel’s location, lower front, upper front, right side lower etc. Fold or roll the material for reuse on the next fire.
Once the structure is wrapped secure it for the wind gusts with the chicken wire. Remember the winds will attack the structure for hours so make sure there are no loose flaps that can be pulled off. The chicken wire should be stretched and stapled as needed protecting seams, corners, and eaves. It is inexpensive insurance and reusable.
The first time you wrap a structure it will take longer. Make sure you have 3 or 4 people to help for 4 or 5 hours. It may go faster but the second time you wrap it will take half the time it did the first time. That is about the same amount of time it would take to spray with foam. But once your shields are up your home is protected for days, weeks, or until you take them down. And your home will be cooler because all that heat is reflected away, a big air conditioner without the power bill.
Fire Shields have taken years of research, development, and feedback from professionals to determine the right combinations of materials and sizes needed to achieve their goal, to protect structures from wildfires and bushfires.
There have also been extensive government and university studies, including the latest research project by professor Fumiaki Takahashi, at the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Case Western Reserve University, (available on our home page) on the effectiveness of structure wrap to protect structures threatened by wildfires.
As a result, the US Forest Service and other firefighting agencies still choose fire shields as the best product option to protect historical treasures, critical buildings, bridges, trestles, and equipment when resources are spread thin, water or power are limited, and it's too dangerous to leave a crew behind for structure protection.
Firezat wants all people to take whatever steps they can to protect their homes and possessions for wildfires. Decades of use have demonstrated the structure wrap is a viable resource to help protect homes when fire trucks and crews are not available to every home. They can be reused for years with care. Click here for products and pricing.
How Does It Work?
Fire Shields Protect in 4 Different Ways
- Firebrands can travel a 1 mile or more on the winds and be as big as fiery golf balls when they land on your roof or property
- This home is a target for fire with a dry shake roof and wood panel siding
- The dry shakes will catch burning embers and the winds will fan them to flames
First, Fire Shields reflect up to 96% of the fires radiant heat and 92% of the convective heat away from your home helping to prevent preheating. A major cause of house ignition is when radiant heat preheats the wood to its flash point, about 585°F. Although wood can burn about 400°F it can burst into flames without flame contact at its flash point. Radiant heat also passes through unprotected windows and preheats curtains, furniture, and carpet to combustion and the home burns from the inside out.
Second, Fire Shields provide a fire resistant, slick surface that allows firebrands or burning embers to land and slide off your roof or extinguish safely. They also eliminate sharp angles on your roof that can catch and trap embers allowing them to burn and eventually ignite your roof. Curved Spanish tile roofs, like those used in the Southwest, can become ember-collectors, actually trapping burning embers inside, if they are not sealed.
Third, Fire Shields provide a fire resistant layer between your home and radiant heat, flames, and firebrands. By using the water saturation method, simply laying a sprinkler hose at the top of your roof then covering it with fire shields, the shields prevent evaporation and maintain a wet environment under the shields dramatically improving your survival chances. If the heat gets very severe the moisture will turn to steam, reducing oxygen, wetting fuel (your roof or walls), and dissipates the heat.
And finally, in the worst case scenarios anchored Fire Shields will deny the fire oxygen that it needs to burn. In some cases after long extended exposure to intense flame or heat some smoldering or charring may occur under the shields. Firefighters can easily extinguish this when they come back after the fire has burned through. Better to replace a section of roof than lose your entire home.
How Much Do I Need?
This varies but is fairly easy to figure out. We recommend drawing a simple box diagram of the structure. Then look at each side as a panel. Example: Front 30’ wide 10’ tall, 300 Sq Ft. Right Side 40’ long 10’ high, 400 Sq Ft. Add up all the panel sides and the roof if needed, and multiply by 15 to 20% for overlap and good measure. Firezat rolls have 1,000 Sq Ft per roll, so divide your number by 1,000 and that is how many rolls you need to protect against firebrands and burning debris.
Zone 0 Critical Areas you know will burn. Move or wrap anything that will ignite easy. Wood piles, fences, shake roofs, decks, sheds, single pane windows, anything combustible, exposed, and dry.
Zone 1 The roof and eaves. If your roof is Class A rated it is probably safe, but wrap facia boards and especially eaves. Eaves are critical as rising heat from burning debris against the house will be trapped and ignition is fast.
Zone 2 The walls. The walls should be wrapped, burning debris blown by the fire can be trapped by the house and the heat will concentrate in the eaves and trigger ignition.
Zone 3 Decks. If decks are near the ground close off access underneath by blocking with non-combustible material. Wrap the underneath decks if off the ground due to rising heat as mentioned above.
This is one time where more is better so your measurements do not have to be exact.
When measuring or estimating your roof come from the highest point down to the gutter and include enough to cover under the eave and down the wall a foot or so. Eaves are heat traps and critical areas to protect.
To Cover just the roof using the example above = 1800 Sq Ft. times 20% (for overlaps)= 360
- 1600 + 360= 1960 total sq ft for roof
- 1960 / 1000 (avg size shield)= 1.96 or 2 Fire Shield rolls to cover the roof and eaves.
It might be helpful to draw a basic diagram of your home and number the walls.
- L Side Wall #1 W 37' H 9' = 333
- Front Wall #2 W 58' H 10' = 580
- Front Roof #3 W 15' L 53' = 800
- Back Roof #4 W 15' L 53' = 800
- Back Wall #5 W 58' H 10' = 580
- R Side Wall #6 W 37' H 9' = 333
Total Area 3,426 Sq Ft to cover the main panels. We then add 20% for overlaps.
To Cover the entire home 3426 Sq Ft. times 20% = 685
- 3426 + 685= 4111 total sq ft for home
- 4111 / 1000 = 4.11 or 4 Fire Shields to cover the entire house.
Firezat Fire Shields have been used by the United States Forest Service to protect historical buildings, high value critical structures, bridges, lookouts, homes and other “Can’t Lose” Items. Our Fire Shields are easy to handle, deploy quickly, and designed for areas such as roofs, homes, buildings, vehicles, business inventories and equipment.
Firezat Fire Shields are delivered and stored as a roll approximately 6” X 6” X 60”. They can be stored for extended periods of time and will not support mold or mildew. They are resistant to most acids, alkalis & solvents with the exception of hydrofluoric acid. If the home or business is sold they can be passed on to the new owners just like a burglar alarm system or you can take them with you.
|Forest Service - Fire Chemicals||Cleanup and Removal of Gel & Foam from Homes|
|Bureau of Land Management- Kate Winthrop - Fire Effects on Cultural Resources||Effects of Fire Gel & Foam on Historical Wood, Rock, & Metal|
Firezat makes no claims or statements, or offers any assurance or assurances, guarantees, promises, either direct or implied, as to the effectiveness or suitability of its products to protect any property or possessions from fire damage or any other calamity whether anticipated or foreseen. Due to the extreme conditions of high heat, high winds, low humidity, and unpredictability associated with all fires it is impossible to make such guarantees. Before using, the user agrees to assume all risks and liabilities in connection with deployment, application, use and/or storage of Firezat Fire Shields. Sellers and manufacturers only obligation shall be to replace any unused Fire Shields found to be defective within one year from the date of purchase. Please see Disclaimer for complete disclosure.