Max A. Moritz, a fire ecologist interviewed on NPR’s All Things Considered, advises that the roof is the most important part of fire safety for homeowners. Unfortunately for homeowners in Toledo and other parts of Ohio, many roofing materials are highly flammable organic materials like wood or asphalt. One material, however, stands out in fire safety: metal. Fire-safe metal roofs can protect your home, and even earn you a lower insurance premium for fire prevention.
Fire Safety Codes
Roofing materials receive a fire safety code that determines their risk factor in ignition and during a fire. The best classification a material can receive is Class A, and this is the classification standing seam metal roofs almost always receive. Metal roofing is so safe that insurance companies often offer discounts on your homeowner’s insurance for metal roofing – both for fire safety and other aspects.
Most other materials receive lower code rankings for roofing, even non-organic materials such as terra-cotta, due to the gaps in clay tiles for ventilation, which increase the danger during a fire. Wood is, obviously, extremely flammable, and asphalt is nearly just as flammable unless it is specifically fire-treated.
Metal does not burn. It can heat up, but it does not burn, except in specific circumstances – none of which happen during a house fire. While composite roofs may be more fire-resistant, once ignited, they only add fuel to the fire. This is in contrast to metals, which do not ignite, and do not burn. Lightning strikes cannot ignite a metal roof, so even with a direct strike, a metal roof is safe from combustion.
Fires spread on the wind when sparks and hot ash hit combustible materials. If your roof is metal, then the entire top of your house is protected from this method of ignition. In the case of a wildfire, a metal roof can protect a house from damage.
There is one problem, however, with metal roofing, which is that – in the event of a fire – firefighters have a harder time breaking through a metal roof to enter a home. While this is a concern, prevention outweighs the problem, as structural integrity is preserved in homes with metal roofing, and fires have a harder time starting in the first place.
Fire safety is never fun, but neither are fires. Erie Metal Roofs are made with stone-coated galvalume steel, which is a Class A roofing material which will prevent fires and stop them from spreading in your home. Choosing a metal roof means choosing fire prevention.