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Why James Hardie / Fire Prevention Testimonials

Fire Officials and Homeowners on Fire Prevention:
James Hardie: Fire Resistance Put to the Test

A real-life story of a family who credits HardiePlank on reducing damage from a fire that threatened their home.



James Hardie Fire Test

See how James Hardie® siding compares to vinyl and wood siding in this side-by-side fire test.



Angora Fire, El Dorado County (Lake Tahoe area)

Lake Tahoe fire "Three years ago I installed HardiePlank® siding on my cabin in Tahoe. My cabin happened to be in the center of the hottest part of the fire but it survived. All 22 houses and cabins on the West side of my street were totally destroyed along with all cabins on the streets above and below me. The cabin next door burned completely. The firefighters said because the fire was so hot, if the Hardie siding had not been there I would not have a cabin." — Homeowner


Lake Tahoe fire "I want to thank your company for producing a truly fine product which saved our house from destruction. We were located in the worst part on the Angora Fire, all of the surrounding homes burned to the ground and my house is the only one standing on the block. We installed your cement siding about five years ago and it was the best investment we ever made. Thank you again." — Homeowner, South Lake Tahoe



San Diego

San Diego Fire San Diego County fire official on requiring James Hardie siding to protect against future fires:
"One well prepared house with Hardieplank and boxed eaves that survived, and houses on either side that didn't. That tells you something about your product. I'm surprised anything survived this inferno. We're going to be requiring fire-resistant construction, will be listing James Hardie siding." — Kevin Dubler, Julian Fire Chief.

"My house is the only one left standing. Two with Hardie that had fire all around them and they're still here." — Homeowner

"Biggest fire in California's history and it's still standing, so it couldn't have been too bad a choice." — Homeowner
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Laguna Beach

After 1993, Laguna Beach fire destroying close to 350 homes, Orange County, California building codes were upgraded requiring tile roofs and non-combustible or fire-resistant siding on all new homes in high fire-risk zones.



Atlanta

Atlanta fire officials on importance of non-combustible exteriors in high density neighborhoods:
"Outside, all (vinyl) siding was melted, and parts of the wood had caught on fire." — Douglas County, GA homeowner

"Should we be utilizing vinyl siding in areas that have high density residences? - I suspect not." — Forsyth County Fire Chief

"It's not so much the distance between the homes that's the concern, it's the building materials. Recommendations include looking at non-combustible exterior siding." — Marietta Fire Chief, who also chairs the committee for International Association of Fire Chiefs that develops fire codes.

"Vinyl siding had no resistance. I like the cluster home concept, but if you're going to have houses close together, they should be brick or HardiePlank, a better fire resistant material." — Douglas County homeowner



Portland

Portland contractor credits Hardie siding for preventing fire spread in apartment complex, finding unscathed HardiePlank under melted plastic, burned. "For my own home, that's the product I'd have."

Firemen say unfinished buildings with HardiePlank not yet installed went up like matchsticks. Those that were finished, didn't burn.



Minneapolis

Minneapolis fire"We feel that the fiber-cement siding is probably what saved the structure," — Deputy Chief, St. Paul, MN Fire Department

"Radiant heat generated from one fire will often damage or set ablaze combustible material nearby . Typically, if the fire is putting off quite a bit of radiant heat, you'll start to see a melting effect. And from that point, if there is some flame contact, the vinyl siding may actually catch fire." — Public information officer, DeKalb County, GA Fire and Rescue Services
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Flagstaff

Colorado State Forest Service, list of recommended products excludes vinyl siding.
Flagstaff, Arizona Fire department prepared a simulated wall for testing combustibility of five decking materials. Fiber-cement siding was selected as the siding for the exterior wall. Three composite decking products fared poorly in the test and caught fire. But the fiber-cement sided walls to which the decking materials were attached suffered only minor singeing and discoloration. "That's not from being in proximity to the fire, that's from direct flame impingement." The fiber-cement siding did not allow the passage of fire, and it did not break apart and fall away. — Jim Wheeler, assistant fire chief, Flagstaff, Arizona Fire Department



Raleigh

Building Code Change Effective April 5, 2007. The Building Code Council made an emergency code change, effective April 5, 2007, that impacts townhouse construction. Vinyl, wood and aluminum soffits are no longer permitted in North Carolina. Soffits must be noncombustible or constructed to at least one (1) hour fire resistive construction. Vented noncombustible soffit is permitted. Permit applications received after April 5, 2007, are required to meet these new standards. Contractors should contact their building inspector to determine individual building requirements during this transition.
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Outer Banks/Southern Virginia

Southern Virginia The owner of this Outer Banks home claims that if his home had not had James Hardie siding, his trailer with valuable tools would have also been lost.



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