Tin foil wildfire protection??

This evening, I was looking at the latest updates on the Zaca fire burning near Lake Cachuma.  It is burning toward Santa Barbara/Goleta, so I am a little concerned for a friend of mine.

Anyway, while I was looking at the pictures posted on the Zaca fire pictures site, I noticed the historic Bluff Cabin wrapped in what appeared to be tin foil.  I then went to the next page of pictures and saw the sequence of photos where the firefighters wrap the building in this “protective material.” (1, 2, 3, 4)

While, I am sure they are not using tin foil to wrap the structure, it still makes me wonder why more people don’t have such kits available to protect their house.  Granted, if the fire is coming over the hill, the typical person won’t have time to wrap their house and really should evacuate.  However, if the home owner has sufficient time, a group of neighbors could get together and wrap each others’ houses in a day or so.  This would add an additional measure of protection to the defensible space.  I am insurance companies would prefer to assist with the cost of using such a kit as it would be cheaper than rebuilding someone’s house.  Hmmm…

I will leave you with this image from the the Zaca fire site on inciweb.org. It puts the power of the fire into perspective.  Click here.  

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4 thoughts on “Tin foil wildfire protection??

  1. I’m willing to bet that those building wrapping materials aren’t cheap!

    As far as fire insurance goes, and being a mountain resident myself… I know for a fact that home insurance companies avoid the topic of fire insurance for people in areas of high fire potential!

  2. Thank you for the comment.

    I did some research on google and found the FireZat product at http://www.firezat.com. According to their order page, 3,000 aq ft runs $3,420. That would cover a single-story 1,500 sq ft house, including the roof. Whether or not its too expensive, that’s up to the home owner.

  3. We saw a couple cabins and a house in Idaho that were wraped with the aluminum wrap and they looked very protected. They also had hoses running water under them and my husband commented that they looked about as protected as you could get. I think if you wanted to really protect your home it would be a good way.

  4. Aluminum oxidizes in proximity to fire. This process denies the fire it’s much needed oxygen. Maybe foil is too thin to make a real difference against wildfires, but it can’t hurt. It seems like a good idea to me.

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