For many in the United States and worldwide, dealing with ever more intense fires has been at the forefront of their mind this summer. According to the Congressional Research Service, each year in California alone, an estimated 71,300 wildfires burn an average of 6.9 million acres since the year 2000. As we have watched these wildfires rage, we are also being told that this is likely our new reality. Hearing this might cause no small amount of fear, but it also might leave you wondering what you can do to minimize the damage in the event of a fire.
How Fences Affect Wildfires
As unlikely as it might seem, the type of material you use for fencing on your property will have a significant impact on the spread of the fire and the amount of damage done. The use of fencing has actually been shown to slow or even stop the spread of a wildfire, but the fencing needs to be the right material.
Along with the risks involved with debris collected in attics and gutters, decks and fences can also ignite fires and bring the flames straight to the building. Combustible fencing and other structures that are surrounding your home or property can increase your vulnerability to wildfires. Materials made of wood or covered in vegetation are especially susceptible.
For properties with wood or barbed wire fencing, the damage to the area is likely to be much higher. Not only can a wood fence burn entirely, requiring replacement, it can also need repairs, but it does nothing to stop the fire from continuing on. In fact, a wood fence can provide dangerous fuel to the fire and make it much hotter and more robust.
Along with the ability to jump through wood fences, fires can also travel along a wood fence – often leading the fire right to structures like barns, garages, and houses. The vast majority of our fencing is attached to or close to a building on the property. This can be one of the most devastating impacts of having a wood fence. It could lead to a fire that was on track to skip your property right to the most sensitive structures.
FEMA recommends the use of precast concrete, stone, or masonry fences. This is not only due to the fact that the fences themselves are extremely unlikely to burn – concrete is a non-combustible material. They also help stop the spread of the fire by handling extreme heat, having the inability to release or burn chemicals, is resistant to structural collapses, and can create separate areas to help contain fires from building to building.
These types of fences, like precast concrete, act as a barrier. While they won’t be able to stop flying embers from igniting fuel on the other side, the fire itself has a hard time jumping over them. Precast concrete fences won’t act as a fuel source that will lead the fire to your buildings –unlike wood fencing. Because precast concrete stands up so well to high heat and won’t collapse from a fire, the fencing is secure for the duration of the fire.
We often view the fencing material as a key aspect of lowering the risk of damage from a wildfire. FEMA and other disaster organizations encourage us to change our minds. Having a precast concrete fence might be what saves your property and your sanity in the event a wildfire comes through.
An Alternative to Wood Fencing
With everything that precast fencing has to offer, not everyone wants a solid, concrete wall outside their home or business. That’s why American Precast Concrete Inc. offers WOODCRETE™. WOODCRETE™ is a product made exclusively by American Precast, and it resembles wood fencing seamlessly. It offers a great, sustainable, cost-effective solution to wood fencing while still being just as beautiful.
Choose American Precast Concrete Inc.
If you are concerned about wildfires surrounding your property, contact American Precast Concrete Inc. today. We can give you a free estimate and answer any questions you may have about precast concrete and its ability to withstand wildfires, weather, and pests. We look forward to hearing from you and helping you make your property safer.