Green Home Renovation Tips for Fire Safety – Guest Post

Green Home Renovation Tips for Fire Safety-
Guest Post by: Ms Sally Davison 
When it comes to sustainable home construction and renovation, fire safety should also be a concern. Preventing fires is a green practice in itself, because fires present a serious threat to the environment in terms of emitting toxic smoke and chemicals and creating hazardous debris and waste. Firefighters also have to use a considerable amount of water to fight a fire, and this water can turn into dangerous runoff containing various chemicals.
Here are some areas of green home renovation that will make your home fire-resistant.
Insulation – Spray-foam insulation uses green products, saves energy, and resists fire. It is made from agriculturally based materials like soy and doesn’t emit toxic vapors. It creates a perfect seal with no gaps in the wall, which keeps heat from leaking out and mold from growing. The materials are fire-resistant, and the air-tight seal keeps out oxygen that could feed a fire.
Natural Lighting – The use of natural lighting such as skylights and large windows can reduce the need for electric lighting in the day time. This saves energy and reduces the risk of something catching on fire near a hot light bulb.
Appliances – Old and poorly-maintained appliances pose a significant fire risk. Appliances that use lots of heat such as stoves, dryers, and microwaves should be in good working order. You may want to consider replacing some of your appliances with Energy Star certified ones, as these will use less energy and pose less of a fire risk.
Carpeting – Normal carpet fibers can quickly ignite from just a dropped cigarette or match. However, wool carpeting is flame retardant, difficult to ignite, and has low heat-release properties. It also emits fewer toxins and is a biodegradable, renewable resource.
Windows – Windows made with heat-reflective glass can significantly reduce the amount of heat that enters the home, which saves energy. They can also reflect up to 90 percent of the heat from a raging wildfire outside the home.
Roofing – Metal roofing made from materials such as aluminum or steel are sustainable and fire-safe. These types of materials are non-combustible and will not support a fire. They will also last a lifetime. Vegetative roof systems, which have a layer of soil and vegetation on the roof, can be fire-resistant if they are watered regularly. However, a roof with dry vegetation will actually increase the fire risk for a home.
Landscaping – Just by establishing a fire-safe landscape around your home, you will create a “green belt” to protect you from outside fires like wildfires. Remove all dead trees, shrubs, and plants at least 30 feet around your home. Eliminate low-hanging branches and shrubs growing under trees. Replace highly flammable plants and trees with fire-resistant ones like succulents, hedging roses and honeysuckles, and hardwood trees. Keep your landscape well-watered, especially during the dry season.
This article was written by Sally Davison. She owns the site Fire Science Degree Sally is an experienced EMT and loves to write various articles about health and safety.
Guest Post Provided by: Scotts Contracting-St Louis Renewable Energy
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