Wednesday, July 23, 2008
A new study is giving Californians insight into why some homes burn and others don't during wildfires. The research was done by the Institute for Business and Home Safety . It's a non-profit agency funded by the insurance industry.
The group studied San Diego communities affected by last year's Witch Creek wildfire. Researchers found that homes built less than 15 feet apart are some of the most vulnerable.
Julie Rochman heads-up the institute. She says this is because most structures caught fire from wind blown embers and not direct contact with flames.
Rochman: The new, and probably scariest, finding for us was that people who live in the interior of these communities are at great risk as well."
The report also found that the safest neighborhoods where built to San Diego's Shelter-In-Place standards. These require that all structures in a community be built with a higher level of fire protection, including in-home fire sprinklers. The report recommends that policymakers use such standards when developing new communities.