Saving Homes and Their Contents from Fire

Bob Heinrich was 15 when he poured gasoline on burning trash causing a major explosion. His clothes caught on fire and he was severely burned from his head to mid-chest and was hospitalized for more than a month.

Given that, you’d think Heinrich would stay away from fire. Yet, inspite of his history with fire, he is the CEO of a company that helps keep others safe from devastating blazes. His company, No Burn of California [sells products that make homes and other buildings highly resistant to burning. Heinrich, formerly CEO of firms that write the country’s model building, fire plumbing and mechanical codes, is almost evangelical in promoting those products.

No wonder, given his history and their effectiveness. In fact the No Burn of California product line retards fire so well that if you, for example, spray the product onto a paper towel and take a torch to the towel, it will not incinerate or combust. Imagine what this protection can do for the framing of your home if it can protect a paper towel.

Using Wood Gard on the framing of the building is especially important given the lightweight building materials in use today and the fact that wood dries out over time. The dryer the wood, the more susceptible it is to catching on fire given an ignition source. In homes those sources abound, from an electrical malfunction or short to a chimney fire, lightning strike or human error. In areas where there are wildfires, burning embers can be sucked into attic vents. Businesses are no less susceptible.

Even if a structure’s framing is not protected by Wood Gard, another No Burn of California product, Hot Spot Fire Gard, offers protection in areas that are high-risk, such as around dryer vents, electrical panels and outlets, garage interiors, attics and chimney flues, plumbing pipes and solar panels for the pool.

The company’s products work by creating a barrier between the fire and the fuel in wood, drywall, fabric, carpet and furniture that a fire needs to burn. They are salt-based, non-toxic and non-carcinogenic. In fact they are based on food grade ingredients. The original product was discovered by a chemist looking to create a new food additive with all the ingredients being U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved. Such fire retardants as those offered by No Burn of California don’t decompose over time. And, its products reduce the production of deadly toxic smoke by up to 80 percent in places where it is applied.

“These types of products are new on the market and we expect it won’t be long before they become standard in new construction, renovation and every homeowner’s home safety maintenance program,” said Heinrich.

Homebuilders are just starting to latch onto the idea of using fire and mold retardants for new home construction. And while Heinrich really isn't at liberty to mention which developers are jumping on the bandwagon, at this point people really should be asking if their home has been treated with fire and mold retardants.

According to the Burbank Fire Department, it’s normally the combustibles that we put in our homes that burn up and kill people, claiming that added layers of protection, such as retardants are important. No Burn of California’s Fabric Gard can be applied easily to any material in a home that is made of cloth and will absorb.

Insurance companies and home lenders also are becoming more involved by offering reductions to people who use fire retardants. For instance, Chase, a major home lender, is offering discounts to large and small homebuilders in California that use the No Burn of California products.

Heinrich’s partners in No Burn of California also have extensive backgrounds in building standards regulation and enforcement. Jon Traw was the longtime CEO of the International Conference of Building Officials and Ray Schuller was the building director for the City of Newport Beach.

They too are dedicated advocates of fire retardants and see a crucial need for homebuilders and the general public to use them as a pertinent part of each home’s safety program.

How people can use fire retardant:

  1. Spray Wood Gard retartent on the wood framing when building or remodeling
  2. Paint product on interior walls and dry board much like a paint primer (on new and existing homes).
  3. Spray No Burn Fabric Gard onto any cloth-upholstered furniture, such as couches, mattresses, carpeting etc.
  4. Spray No Burn Hot Spot in areas around electrical outlets, vents, solar panels etc.

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