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There have been 52,699 wildfires in the United States since January 1 of this year. Those fires are responsible for burning an estimated total of 8.8 million acres, which exceeds the 10-year average. In the same period last year, 52,347 wildfires burned 5 million acres, and in 2015, 68,151 wildfires burned more than 10 million acres.
Property damage from these fires has been significant, to say the least. For example, in California, 15% of households, a total of 2,044,800 homes, are considered to be at high risk. In a 19 day period ranging from October 6 to October 25, an outbreak wildfires in California destroyed more than 8,700 structures, increasing insured property losses for the year to more than $3 billion. In 2016, wildfires destroyed 1,600 buildings. Over the past 10 years, property losses from wildfires totals $5.1 billion.
Unfortunately, wildfire size and frequency seem to be increasing. In the 1980s, average burn acreage hovered around 2 million. In the last 10 years, that average has ballooned to more than 8 million. It is estimated that nearly 90% of wildfires in the US are caused by humans, and ass more people interact with wooded environments, for recreational purposes or otherwise, the likelihood of fire starts increases.
With these statistics in mind, it is important to consider what type of material is best suited against fire when choosing a structure. No matter your intended purpose, fire is a constant looming threat across a significant portion of the country. Obviously, wood buildings offer little to no protection from fire, and concrete and brick, while fire resistant, are expensive, time consuming options that don’t offer a lot of flexibility. For the best protection, we suggest steel. In order for steel to melt when exposed to fire, the heat of the flames must exceed 2570°F. The flash point of wood, or in other words, the temperature required for it to burst into flame, is just 572°F. The average forest fire burns with a heat of 1,472°F and has flames of 1 meter or less in height. Occasionally, under the most extreme of conditions, a fire can have flames of 50 meters or higher with temperatures reaching 2,192°F. So, even in the most extreme circumstances, steel structures will withstand, protecting all that is inside. Steel structures will also save you money on insurance costs, as insurance companies factor fire risk into their assessments, greatly affecting your monthly payments. So, when it comes to protecting your investment, steel is without a doubt the best and most affordable option.