CLIPBOARD : Fireproof Roofs

A uniform building code or fire code designates the standards builders must follow when constructing or repairing a residence. While most cities here follow the minimum standards of the California Uniform Building Code, some may differ as the risk of fire changes with the terrain of the county. Also, some cities, such as Anaheim, adopt multiple classes to reflect various zones of risk.

In effect, each class of a building code defines areas of severe fire exposure. In the highest fire-risk assignment, terrain is steeply sloped and covered with dense vegetation and trees. These Class A roofs are safest when built of tile, metal or asphalt. Only pressure-treated shake roofs that have a proper underlay will receive a Class A rating.

Houses on gentle slopes with nearby brush are considered Class B areas. Tile, metal, asphalt and pressure-treated shingles will meet these requirements. Class C roof requirements are reflected in the typical housing tracts found in flatland areas and are considered the lowest-risk homes for fire hazards.

Here's how the roofing requirements compare in Orange County:

City Required Class Anaheim A,B,C Brea C Buena Park C Costa Mesa C Cypress C Dana Point C Fountain Valley C Fullerton C Garden Grove A,B,C Huntington Beach C* Irvine C* Laguna Beach B Laguna Niguel C La Habra C La Palma C Los Alamitos C Mission Viejo C** Newport Beach C Orange A Placentia C San Clemente B San Juan Capistrano C*** Santa Ana C Seal Beach C**** Stanton C Tustin C** Villa Park C** Westminster A,B Yorba Linda B,C

* Untreated wood shingles not allowed. ** Residences and multifamily units only. *** All roofs must be fire-retardant. **** Residences only. Source: Individual cities, Committee for Firesafe Roofing

Researched by JANICE L. JONES / Los Angeles Times

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