I received the following e-mail yesterday regarding the fire resistance of straw bale homes:
“I have a 10 year old straw bale house in Flagstaff, AZ. I heard that in the wildfires over the last few years that straw bale homes incinerated. Have you heard that?”
Here’s my reply:
Thanks for your email and you can take a deep breath of relief. No, that is absolutely not true.
Bale buildings are very fire resistant. In fact, a recent study proved what we bale builders have known for years: once plastered, bale buildings have an extremely long burn resistance, more so that conventional homes. The results of that test will be out soon and will be posted on our website in some capacity.
During the wild fires in San Diego a few years a go, there was a neighborhood that was completely destroyed. The only thing left standing, literally the only thing, was one straw bale wall. The bales were burned out, but the wall was still in place. Even cars and oven ranges were burnt away, but not the SB wall!
Be sure to take safety precautions seriously and clear debris away from your house, especially under decks and in any foundation vents. Clean your gutters of leaves, and trim your trees up and remove ladder fuels. If you have adequate fire safety guidelines met around your home, you will be fine, in fact more than fine. You will be safe in a super fire resistant
house! Doesn’t that feel better?