Ensure Fuel Tank is Adequately Distanced From the Home


Make Resilient Upgrades | Strengthen Your Home • Wildfires

Why do they matter?

Utilities that penetrate your home can be a threat in a wildfire, and exterior equipment (ex: solar panels and receiver dishes) can be damaged by the high temperatures from a wildfire.

What do I need to know?

  • Pressurized and liquid fuels (typically used for heating, hot water, and cooking) are flammable and explosive.
  • Exterior equipment often has combustible components, and openings for ducting and conduit may be a vulnerability during a wildfire.
  • Wildfires can affect power transmission, damage equipment, or cause a short circuit in the lines.
  • Consider the potential effects of power outages and surges on utilities and exterior equipment: electrically-powered equipment miles away may be damaged, and water well power supplies are vulnerable.
  • Roof-mounted equipment has the same ignition potential as the roofing assembly.
  • Exposed, combustible delivery lines are vulnerable to wildfire (ex: pipe connections that include a rubberized gasket).
  • Venting of fuel under pressure may cause significant damage or total destruction of your home.

Where do I start?

  • Install utility and equipment connections underground, if possible. If underground installation isn’t possible, seal gaps and penetrations in exterior walls and roofs with fire-resistant materials. Fill large gaps with intumescent or fire-protective sheets or pillows. Use fire-resistant wrap around ventilation features that are built into and penetrate exterior walls (ex: air conditioners).
  • Shield power cables and other wiring with noncombustible or fire-resistant materials.
  • Use noncombustible or fire-resistant materials to mount roof-mounted equipment.
  • Use surge protectors for valuable electronic equipment.
  • Install Class A rated solar cell systems.
  • Place fuel storage vessels 30 feet from your home, away from downhill slopes, and enclose vessels behind a noncombustible masonry wall. Bury pressurized storage vessels underground, if possible.
  • Bury or shield fuel lines.
  • Shield gas meters with noncombustible materials.
  • Ensure pressurized storage tanks have a pressure relief valve.
  • Use defensible space for the location of utilities and exterior equipment (ex: electric water pumps, fuel tanks).
  • Reduce any potential combustible debris around exterior equipment.

More Resources:

  • FEMA P-737, Home Builders’ Guide to Construction in Wildfire Zones.



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