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Journal of Long-Term Effects of Medical Implants

ISSN Print: 1050-6934
ISSN Online: 1940-4379

Journal of Long-Term Effects of Medical Implants

DOI: 10.1615/JLongTermEffMedImplants.v14.i2.50
34 pages

Prevention of Residential Roof Fires By Use of a Class "A" Fire Rated Roof System

Richard Edlich
Legacy Verified Level I Shock Trauma Center Pediatrics and Adults, Legacy Emanual Hospital; and Plastic Surgery, Biomedical Engineering and Emergency Medicine, University of Virginia Health System, USA
Kathryne L. Winters
Website Manager and Information Specialist, Trauma Specialists, LLP, Legacy Emanuel Hospital, Portland, Oregon, 1917 NE 97th St. Vancouver WA 98665, USA
William B. Long III
Trauma Specialists LLP, Legacy Verified Level I Shock Trauma Center for Pediatrics and Adults, Legacy Emmanuel Hospital Portland, OR, USA
L. D. Britt
Chairman, Brickhouse Professor of Surgery. Department of General Surgery, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Hofheimer Hall, 825 Fairfax Avenue, Norfolk VA 235001, USA

ABSTRACT

Because residential roof fires remain a life-threatening danger to residential homeowners in the United States, we describe in detail a national fire prevention program for reducing residential roof fires by use of an Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL) and National Fire Protection Association Class A fire rated roof system. This Class A system should comply with the test requirements for fire resistance of roof coverings, as outlined in UL 790 or in ASTM International (ASTM) E-108. Both the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturer's Association (ARMA) and the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) have set up guidelines for selecting a new roof for the homeowner. Class A, fiber-glass-based asphalt roofing shingles represent an overwhelming share of the United States residential roofing market, and, as such, the Class A rated roofing system remains an excellent alternative to wood shingles and shakes. Fortunately, the Class A fire rating is available for certain wood shingle products that incorporate a factory-applied, fire resistant treatment. However, in this circumstance, wood products labeled as Class B shakes or shingles must be installed over spaced or solid sheathing that have been covered either with one layer of j in. (6.4 mm) thick noncombustible roof board, or with one layer of minimum 72-lb. fiber-glass-based mineral surfaced cap sheet, or with another specialty roofing sheet to obtain the Class A fire rating. Clay, tile, slate, and metal have been assigned Class A fire ratings in the codes (but often without testing). These alternative roofing materials are often considerably more expensive. Proper application, ventilation, and insulation of roofing systems are required to prevent heat and moisture buildup in the attic, which can damage the roofing system, making it more susceptible to water leakage as well as ignition in the event of a fire. The NRCA has devised excellent recommendations for the homeowner to prequalify the contractor. In addition, a warranty for any new roofing material is important for the homeowner to ensure that the roofing can be repaired by the contractor or manufacturer during the specified warranty period, in case of contractor error or a manufacturing defect. In addition, the homeowner should ensure that the warranty is transferable to any future owner of the home to allow the buyer to have the same warranty benefits as the original owner. The State of California has mandated strict roofing requirements to prevent residential fires. In the absence of this legislation in other states, the homeowner must follow the guidelines outlined in this collective review to ensure that a roofing system with Class A fire protection is installed. Other fire safety precautions that should also be considered mandatory are to include smoke alarms, escape plans, and retrofit fire sprinklers.