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CAL FIRE Holds Classes on New Wildland-Urban Interface Building Standards

Seal of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection

SACRAMENTO — Specialized training on California's new Wildland-Urban Interface Building Standards is now being offered to builders and fire officials statewide through CAL FIRE, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

On January 1, 2008, Chapter 7A of the California Building Code, Materials and Construction Methods for Exterior Wildfire Exposure, will take effect and change how buildings are constructed in designated wildfire hazard areas."Substantial changes to the building code will eliminate the weak spots in typical home construction that allow fire, heat and embers into a building," said State Fire Marshal Kate Dargan. ""Buildings that are protected against embers can better withstand a wildland fire."

The new standards represent major changes in the way structures can be built. For that reason, CAL FIRE's Office of the State Fire Marshal is holding a series of training classes statewide. The four-hour class targets building officials, fire officials, planners, building material manufacturers, developers, architects, engineers and other building professionals.

"The Contractors State License Board (CSLB) encourages every builder who works in designated wildfire hazard areas to take this important training " said CSLB Registrar Steve Sands. "Following these new standards will help protect lives and property."

The session covers the elements of the building code that have changed: roof coverings and assemblies, gutters, vents, eaves, exterior walls, windows, decking, and doors. The course will provide information on Fire Hazard Severity Zone mapping, State Fire Marshal standards that apply to Chapter 7A, and the State Fire Marshal procedure for testing, labeling, and listing approved products.

Classes are currently scheduled in Moraga-Orinda, Sacramento, Napa and South Lake Tahoe. To schedule or sponsor a class, contact Stephen Quarles at stephen.quarles@fire.ca.gov. Information about the training classes is available online at www.fire.ca.gov/wildland_codes_training.php.

 

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