Fire Proof
By Paul Vircsik

Fire proof.  It does not exist.  Our planet was once a molten mass and still is at its core.  Anything given the right conditions will burn.  But there are products that can help make materials fire resistant.  I have been hawked throughout my career enumerable times from companies that claim total fire resistance.  Another myth.  None of them last forever.  However, for some time now there has been a product in testing that seems to do very well at protecting materials from burning if certain conditions are followed.  The manufacturer has been traveling around the country to fires in progress and using the product on buildings to test results.  Their results have been very favorable.

The product is called Barricade.  (You can click on this link to be directed to their web site.)

This is the company based out of Florida that developed a product after studying baby diapers and their ability to hold moisture.  I have seen the tape on this product, and recently talked to John Bartlett, the founder/president, of the company.  I grilled him for an hour with questions directed from a fire service standpoint.  We talked about real world conditions, Colorado conditions, how the product works, its limitations and procedures for application.  How to keep the product viable and how to remove it after the fire or the threat thereof.  I felt the information was valuable and wanted to pass it along to all my neighbors.  I am not connected with the company but found out how we could save money on the product if purchases were made all together.  Personally, I am going to wait until I have my home built to invest in this product.  In the mean time I will continue to practice what I preach in my column for my building's protection as should all of us.  I do, however, think that this product should aid in protecting one's buildings under the right conditions.  Besides all the info you can find from the site, here are the facts that John and I discussed.

There are many pros and a few cons with this product as you can see.  A 3000 square foot home could be prepared in about 45 minutes if you practiced and were set up with ladders, hose, etc.  Figure 1 hours to get the home prepped and covered.  In a good hot fire with low humidities, it should last about 8-12 hours before it dries out resulting in the same affect as not applying the product at all.  It could be re-wetted, but that would mean staying to re-wet and you would need power and water.  If you or the ESC called for an evacuation, the current condition of the product would have to last until you were let back in to the ranch.  In a major fire, that could be 2-4 days.  If the product was still viable when and if the fire hit your house, it would be protected under normal fire conditions.

Again, there are many variables that make or break this product.  All should be considered before trusting any product to protect your home's outside from fire.  If the application is correct and the fire hits while it is still in good shape, it should protect your home.  If your home has to be left for longer than 12 hours before the fire hits, I do not think it will succeed in protection.  This is based on my conversations with the rep.  Based on my investigation I feel strongly that it would be a good tool to add to your arsenal in protecting your home.

Paul Vircsik writes the monthly Preparedness Corner column on fire and home safety that every property owner should find time to read.  Click Here for a listing of all the Preparedness Corner issues.

Meet the author: Read about Paul Vircsik's background