Living in a fire-prone area like Idyllwild, the threat of a fire is real. Wildfires seemingly continue to get larger, faster and more destructive each year. According to Cal Fire, 2020 is officially the worst wildfire season on record.
While there are preventative measures that can be taken to help save your home during a wildfire like keeping your yard clear of the brush or fallen leaves, there is another option that could give you the upper hand if a wildfire were to rip through your area.
Sun FireDefense provides a number of fire-resistant products that could help save your home if it’s treated before a wildfire.
Jim Moseley, founder and CEO of Sun FireDefense, spoke to the Town Crier about the products offered by Sun FireDefense.
“One product we make is a very high temperature, long-acting, fire-resistant clear coat that can be applied on the outside of buildings, insulation in the walls, utility poles, or fiberglass like on a boat,” said Moseley. “Instead of fire-resistant gels that last four to eight hours, this lasts for years. It should last as long as latex paint which is about five to seven years or so.
“The present invention is a fire prevention coating formulation to be applied to surfaces in order to prevent ignition and inhibit the spread of
fire. The present invention is able to absorb and bond to wood, polymers, metals, fabrics, fiberglass and plastics. Once in contact with flames or radiant heat, this invention does not expand to protect substrates in the way intumescent paints do. Intumescent paints expand up to 200 times and create a very hard, protective barrier that creates a very arduous and costly effort in the removal of intumescent coating. Intumescent paints can also be triggered at temperatures around 248 F, far below what most surfaces would take to combust. It can be less costly to replace the beam or area treated with intumescent after flame or radiant heat has caused the expansion to take place.
“The instant invention creates a nano-particle reaction within the superalloy powder. After flame and radiant heat have entered the substrate, the powder expands, cutting off means of oxygen and therefore self-extinguishing. After heat dissipates, the powder then contracts to its original form allowing surfaces like wood to again breathe, which is critical to wood surfaces. The present invention also significantly reduces the volume of smoke, flames and fumes associated with fires. An additional benefit of this invention is that it acts as a natural rot and termite inhibitor when used on woods.”
Other products created by Sun FireDefense are a laminate that can be applied to the inside of a window to help keep the windows from exploding if a wildfire were to sweep over you home, an exterior sprinkler system that can be controlled remotely by an iPhone and fire blankets that are made out of the same material that is used in aerospace. According to Moseley, the fire blanket wrap and window covers are comprised of ceramic fiber material layered with other materials similar to that of the fire shelter used by the U.S. Forest Service. They can withstand temperatures over 3,000 F, up to 6,000 F as you can read in the Virgin Orbit rocket launch testing where you can see the wraps on the rocket stands.
“The sprinkler system uses Cold Fire solution mixed with water,” Moseley explained. “This product mixes in the system and keeps the house hydrated. It makes it superior to keep the house hydrated because it doesn’t evaporate as quickly as only water would, and it can be controlled remotely or put on a timer.
Former Idyllwild Fire Chief Patrick Reitz has been working with Sun FireDefense as their director of development and director of installations for the Cold Fire sprinkler system.
“He’s the one that goes out and gives the overall appraisal of what the home needs. He’s an expert in those areas and that’s really what you need in these rural areas like Idyllwild,” Moseley said. “He’ll come out and do a free assessment.”
Sun FireDefense currently works in California, Oregon and Washington and has teamed up with electrical companies to help treat their power poles, protecting them during a wildfire.
“The whole idea is to buy you time,” Moseley explained. “If you have something that is insulating you, and if you couldn’t evacuate, you want your best chances of surviving if you have to shelter in place. Always evacuate if you can, but if you can’t, we try to come up with a plan B.”
There is an additional bonus to adding the clear coating to your home, it is also a termite, rot repellant and a great sealant. So not only can it protect the house from wildfire, but from weather and UV damage.
“Nothing is fireproof,” Moseley said. “We don’t claim any of our products to be but our demos and testing are pretty good. It’s tough to fool a fire chief. They are experts in that field.”
Sun FireDefense continues to test and grow their products to help protect the homes of those who need it most. For more information about Sun FireDefense, visit https://sunfiredefense.com