If you live in an area that’s at risk for wildfires, you may have heard about the importance of your home’s vents. While there are many steps you can take to help protect your home from potential wildfire damage, making sure it has the right vents is one of the most important and impactful.
Every house has multiple vents strategically placed in different areas. Dormer vents, eave vents, soffit vents, gable vents, and crawl space vents are a few common types, and they’re all crucial parts of your home’s construction.
In addition to being required to meet most building codes, they allow for constant airflow which helps prevent dangerous mold and dry rot and keeps energy costs low. However, many homeowners don’t realize that these vents can also present major vulnerabilities during wildfire season. That’s where Vulcan Vents come in.
How are Vulcan Vents different from regular vents?
In short, Vulcan Vents are the first line of defense in preventing dangerous embers from entering your home. Did you know that, in the event of a wildfire, direct flames coming into contact with your home isn’t the only major risk?
As many as 90% of homes destroyed by wildfires initially caught fire because of wind-blown embers, rather than encroaching flames. This happens because, unfortunately, hot embers, or firebrands, can travel miles ahead of the fire itself.
If your house has regular vents, embers can easily pass through into attic space, under eaves, and crawl spaces and ignite. That means your home could be lost or damaged even if the actual flames of a wildfire never reach its direct area. Vulcan Vents help prevent this scenario. Here’s how:
Vulcan Vents help protect you from the possibility of an ember-started home fire because they’re specifically designed to keep embers out. On a normal day, air flows freely through your Vulcan Vents. In the event of a wildfire where hot embers are flying through the air, our stainless steel ember mesh effectively blocks embers from being sucked into the home. This physical barrier requires no activation to work. It’s a physical barrier that works around the clock to keep your home safe from embers.
Think of this ember-safe technology as a sentry protecting your house: Always watching and standing at the gates to block embers from getting inside your home and causing it to burn from the inside out.
Intumescent Honeycomb Matrix
Our patented, honeycomb matrix with intumescent coating closes off when exposed to radiant heat and flames. It effectively becomes a firewall, cutting off the needed oxygen for the fire to attack your home. This is your last and most important line of defense against wildfire.
Our baffle-free, open-faced design allows Vulcan Vents to have the highest airflow in the industry. This helps prevent mold and moisture build-up in your home while also keeping energy costs low. With our high airflow vents, you’ll also need less of them when retrofitting your home. This can be a huge savings cost.
Our vents work like a vent when they should and become a 1-hour firewall when you need it most.
Vulcan Vents are WUI-approved in California and beyond, made specifically to withstand wildfire conditions. We use fire-resistant, corrosion-resistant, G90 galvanized steel frames, 304 stainless steel ember mesh, and a high-grade, aluminum honeycomb matrix for every standard model of vent. Vulcan Vents are tested under fire to the highest standards.
Our vents are tested and listed to ASTM E2886 / 2912 which meets Chapter 7A of the California Building Code.
Vulcan Vents are continuing to set the standard for flame and ember resistant vents by helping to develop 1-hour testing methodologies for ventilation. We’ve been tested and listed for the ASTM E119 1-hour furnace test and passed with flying colors. Don’t take our word for it. Our performance data is verified by accredited, third-party fire engineers. We’ve got the listings to prove it. See our Codes and Compliance section for details.
In other words: High-quality Vulcan Vents give your home the very best chance of fending off potential damage from wildfires in the surrounding area.
Which homes should be equipped with Vulcan Vents?
Per the Chapter 7A California building code, all new homes built in the wildland-urban interface (WUI) are required to have vents made of building materials that can withstand fire exposure. So if new construction in any of these regions is in your future, you’ll need to use vents like Vulcan Vents. That way, you can be sure that your home is protected against dangerous embers and flames from day one.
If you already own a home in the WUI that does not have ember-resistant vents, you’re not required by law to change them. However, it’s a simple task that can drastically increase the protection of your home in the event of nearby wildfires. When retrofitting your home with Vulcan Vents, consider reaching out to a professional installer from our Installer page to find a contractor nearest you.
Our vents install like any common, exterior vent, and other than general carpentry, no special knowledge is required. However, installing Vulcan Vents is only part of “hardening your home” and, hiring a professional may provide additional guidance in protecting other areas of your home!
Which vents in my home should be Vulcan Vents?
When we talk about the possibility of dangerous embers drifting into a home through vents, we’re talking about vents that facilitate passive airflow from the outside into vulnerable areas of your home (attic, eaves, foundation).
That means Vulcan Vent technology is most important for vents like these:
- Gable vents. These are the vents found at the top of house walls underneath the peak of a triangular roof.
- Eave vents. These are the vents found, of course, on a home’s eaves, or the portions of the roof that extend out past the walls.
- Soffit vents. These are the vents found on the underside of a home’s eaves.
- Dormer vents. Dormer vents are some of the easiest to spot on a home because they’re not typically flat, like most other vents. They’re used for crucial attic ventilation.
- Foundation vents. As the name suggests, foundation vents provide ventilation for the space underneath a house (cellar, crawl space, or basement).
- Ridge Vents. This is a great option for increasing your airflow without using dormer vents on the roof slope.
All of these openings give embers easy access to the flammable insides of your home if they weren’t equipped with ember-resistant technology.
Note that Vulcan Vents aren’t intended for dryer vents and bathroom evaporation vents, since they’re used primarily for exhaust and don’t ventilate vulnerable areas of the home.
Choose Vulcan for everything from attic vents to foundation vents
Unfortunately, wildfires are a very real threat to residents of California and other Western states. The risk is increasing dramatically every year. If this includes you, your best course of action is to do everything you can to protect your home ahead of time.
Equipping your house with Vulcan Vents is an important and effective first step. Refer to our website for a full catalog of products that will help fortify your home against threats from embers and flames today.
If you’d like additional information about wildfire home defense, check out our post on how to protect your home from wildfires.