I live in Edmonton, Alberta.
And as I write this, it’s on fire.
In additional to tiny homes, I teach home and landscape design.
(The functional kind – like rainwater collection, passive solar, & food-growing).
So in this blog post, I’m going to share how to prepare your home & landscape for fire.
Don’t get caught with your pants down (or on fire).
FIRE TIP #1: CHOOSE/CHANGE WHAT YOUR HOUSE IS BUILT WITH
Carefully choose what your house is built with.
When it comes to insulation, there are many options.
Fiberglass is cheap… It’s like the Mcdonald’s of insulation.
Comparatively, you could use mineral wool insulation.
While it costs +25%, here is what you get:
- +25% better insulative values = Long term saving!
- MUCH better sound rating (this is what they use in music studios)
- Made with 70% recycled content (better for the environment)
- … annnnnd, better fire rating. (It’s made from rock and metal).
With mineral wool, it takes longer for a fire to burn through your walls.
Could make all the difference for a fire team to save your house (or your neighbors).
But what if you want to prevent your house from going on fire?
The best fire-preventative material you can use is metal.
Not only does metal not burn but metal siding is usually mounted with an insulating air pocket behind it. (Called a rain-screen).
This helps cools your wall. Good for firestorms. And just any ol’ hot day.
Here is an example – QuickPanel and FastPlank aluminum metal siding.
We used this on Stargazer – the tiny house we are building and giving away for free.
The other place you can use metal is the roof.
Fire travels in so many ways, including ashes landing.
I highly recommend metal roofs as they won’t burn, but also for rainwater collection….
FIRE TIP #2: STORE WATER
As a Permaculture teacher, I can teach you over 30 ways to optimize your property for water.
If you want food, abundance, or resilience, water is key.
When it comes to fire, you want to have as much water around you as possible.
With water-saturated soils, a fire will slow or even stop.
With stores of water in tanks and ponds, you can fight the fire.
So be sure to get every precious drop of water from your roof.
A metal roof is the best for capturing the most water (and the cleanest.)
You can get 200L blue barrels, but if you want to get serious, connect multiple containers together.
Like these IBCs (Intermediate Bulk Containers), that hold 1000L each!
(This is at a school project that I designed and lead the installation of).
FIRE TIP #3: HAVE A HOUSE THAT CAN MOVE
As a tiny house teacher, I’m obviously biased…
I have been living in my tiny house for 9+ years.
And I love that I chose to build my tiny house as a “THOW”.
This means that it is a ‘Tiny House On Wheels”… It’s ONE of the ways to build a tiny house.
If a natural disaster is coming, like a fire, I can literally pull my house to safety.
Because let’s face it, my metal roof and 3000L of water may not be enough.
WANT TO LEARN MORE FROM ME?
I teach workshops on home and landscape design, tiny homes, and more.
I also do consulting for homeowners, businesses, and communities.
- Curious or excited about tiny homes? This is your perfect crash course.
- Want to learn to create your dream home and property? Get on the waitlist for Attainable Sustainable Academy.
- Are you interested in consulting, virtually or in person? Get in touch.
I hope you enjoyed this article. Stay safe.