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What Exactly is The Home Ignition Zone?

What is the Home Ignition Zone?
  • What is the Home Ignition Zone?Post-fire studies, experiments and models have shown homes ignite due to the condition of the home itself and everything around it up to 200’ from the foundation.

    Homes and their surroundings are vulnerable to three potential ignition sources:
    1. Embers (a/k/a firebrands)
    2. Surface fire – small flames
    3. Crown fire – large flames
  • EmbersEmbers from a grass, brush or forest fire can be carried to homes through the wind and may cause spot fires, ignite buildings and objects on or around the home.

    Embers can also blow into attic vents, open windows, underneath decks and into the nooks and crannies of the roof.

  • Surface FiresSurface fires are typically small flames burning through grass or the duff layer. They can reach houses or attachments if there’s no interruption in the fuel source.

    Flames touching a house, fence or deck can ignite it – this is called “direct flame impingement.”

  • Crown FiresA crown fire means flames are burning in the tops or canopies of trees. These large flames radiate heat that can ignite wood walls from up to 30’ away. Large flames can also come from burning wood piles or ignited vehicles.

  • RecommendationsFirewise principles are designed to mitigate a home’s vulnerability from the three types of potential ignition sources.

    Working within the home’s ignition zone begin with the house and work outwards undertaking steps to reduce fuel for embers, a surface fire and large flames.

  • What about my neighbors?Mitigating risks within the home ignition zone (HIZ) is important, but requires a joint effort if a neighbor’s residence is closer than the full 200’ area.

    This graphic illustrates neighboring homes with an overlapping home ignition zone. What does or doesn’t happen around properties in close proximity can impact their level of survivability.

  • Homes that are close togetherMany communities have homes built within 100-200’ of each other causing the overlap issue. Risk reduction efforts in these areas are beneficial to multiple properties. The reality of fire behavior in this scenario means neighbors must work together to achieve the best possible outcome.

What is the Home Ignition Zone?1 Embers2 Surface Fires3 Crown Fires4 Recommendations5 What about my neighbors?6 Homes that are close together7
The Science Behind the Home Ignition Zone

     The 3 Zones of the Home Ignition Zone

HIZ Diagram