Fiber Cement Siding Is a House Fire’s Nightmare

There are numerous benefits that come with choosing James Hardie brand fiber cement siding. This type of siding – which is crafted from a mixture of Portland cement, sand, and water – is durable, fire-resistant, hurricane-force-wind resistant, and even resistant to termites, vermin, and other pests that often plague North Carolina and South Carolina homeowners. 


Furthermore, this type of siding – which is growing in popularity around the United States every year – is attractive and colorfast. Thanks to the James Hardie Company’s patented additives in the fiber cement mixture, you can trust that your siding boards will hold their color and their form for decades to come. 


If you’re like a lot of homeowners, a house fire is one of your biggest nightmares. If this is something you fear, fiber cement siding is the perfect choice for your exterior home renovation. Both scientific fact and anecdotal evidence indicate that fiber cement is the premiere option for homeowners who want to leave the fire of severe fire damage in the past. 


Official information from the James Hardie brand


The official James Hardie website provides an explanation of why the company’s products are rated as “1-hour fire resistant”:


While JamesHardie® products will not ignite when exposed to direct flame or contribute fuel to a fire, heat will transfer through them. Because of this, the product itself is not 1-hour fire rated. However, they do qualify for use in certain 1-hour fire rated Warnock Hersey and UL assemblies. Think of JH products as a pan used for cooking. The pan can be directly exposed to a stove’s flame and not burn, yet the food in the pan will cook in time. Having an interior wallboard that resists burning for 1-hour buys time for the homeowner and fire professionals.


This information straight from the source can help homeowners like you better understand why this type of siding is such a great choice for preventing severe fire damage, at least as long as your local fire department is alerted in a timely fashion and is able to reach your home within 60 minutes of the start of the blaze. 


Details from a family’s personal experience


If you need more proof of the efficacy of fiber cement cladding products against fires, look no further than Darren and Simone V., who shared their harrowing story with the James Hardie Company.


The family expressed gratitude for their siding, and even stated that local firefighters were shocked by the lack of damage to the exterior of the residence the couple shares with their toddler daughter:


“We could see the fire literally hitting (our home) and the heat was so intense, and it was not doing anything to our walls. It was like a giant shield,” Simone said of their Hardie® siding. “We have double windowpanes, and they were shattering and melting.”


Despite the total destruction of the studio, Darren’s and Simone’s home was largely intact, which can be seen in the photo above. They credit their HardiePlank® lap siding with saving their lives and protecting their home.


To learn more about all of the fiber cement siding and trim products that are available from James Hardie, contact Hatch Homes to speak to a crew member about your upcoming renovation. 

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