Tuesday, November 18, 2008

To make it safe

If you have to perform a long list of extraordinary precautions to make something safe enough to do, maybe you should reconsider doing it at all.

GirlHacker points to a story about a family home lost as a result of raging wild fires.

A barrel tile roof, boxed eaves, brick and stucco siding and clean rain gutters may have helped stop the fire, but an ember got in an attic vent and all was lost. The vent had a mesh with quarter-inch holes. An eighth-inch hole mesh is recommended. Other fire hazards that can set off a house: wooden patio furniture, ornamental plants, mulch, and palm trees.

When "normal" behavior such as having ornamental plants in your yard, mulching the flower beds, and having wooden patio furniture must be avoided to reduce the chance that your house will burn down, and when the difference between quarter-inch mesh and eighth-inch mesh allows an ember to destroy your home, you might have picked a bad place to put it.

1 comment:

Laura Back said...

I'm not actually sure. It seems like a great many places that people live are at risk of being destroyed by some kind of natural disaster -- earthquake, flood, hurricane, avalanche, tornado, volcanic eruption, tidal wave, mudslide...pick your poison, pretty much. Some of these fire-safety precautions seem to me not so much to say "If you don't take these extraordinary measures, your house will be destroyed" as "If you do take these extraordinary measures, your house might actually survive a natural disaster's hitting the neighborhood." When I was growing up in the tornado belt, we didn't even have extraordinary measures we could take to increase the chances of saving our house if a tornado passed by -- we had to just plain hope it never happened.