Why Did Only One Side of This Home Burn?

Resources from the 2019 wildfire demo at the IBHS Research Center, including additional guidance from past research.

Why Defensible Space?

Wind-borne embers can blow more than a mile away from a wildfire and are a leading cause of home ignitions during these events. Embers can ignite dead vegetation next to your house or on your house, causing significant damage. Flames or radiant heat from your home can then ignite neighboring houses, making a community approach critical to reducing risks. Learn more about how you can reduce risks by creating/maintaining defensible space.

In The News

IBHS demonstration shows how defensible space can reduce wildfire risks.

Study: Home Wildfire Resistance Starts with Defensible Space and Proper Materials

Dan Gorham speaks with Lou Manfredini on WGN Chicago radio about the recent wildfire demonstration and techniques to make your property more fire-resistant.

IBHS’s Dan Gorham on HouseSmarts Chicago

NPR examines how recent wildfire tests at the IBHS Research Center demonstrate affordable resilience for communities.

Step 1: Build A House. Step 2: Set It On Fire

IBHS's Roy Wright Roy Wright speaks with Insurance Journal about a  wildfire demonstration showing the impact defensible space can have on a property's risks.

Insurance Safety Group Demo Tells Burning Tale to Two Structures

Dan Gorham speaks with Lou Manfredini about the recent wildfire demonstration and techniques to make your property more fire-resistant.

IBHS’s Dan Gorham on HouseSmarts

The Insurance Institute for Business Home and Safety (IBHS) works with insurance companies to see how homes are affected by hurricanes, hail and wildfires. On this Wednesday, CN2’s Indira Eskieva takes inside of the facility for a rare look at how wildfires spread to homes.

Research Facility Tests Wildfires

IBHS…constructed two test homes at its facility in Richburg, S.C., to find out how the building industry can make structures more fire resistant.

IBHS Creates Full-Scale Example of Fire-Resistant Building Practices

Though a wildfire’s wall of flame might look most destructive, 90 percent of fires are ignited by flying embers, some the size of a human hand.

This Fire-Resistant Home is the Next Line of Defense Against Climate Change

Engineers intentionally set a home on fire inside a facility in Chester County Wednesday to learn more about the devastation that wildfires can cause.

Researchers Simulate Wildfires at Facility to Improve Home Safety

It is impossible to build a fully fireproof home, but researchers are now focused on making homes at least fire resistant.

Fire-Resistant Home May Be Line of Defense Against Climate Change

Learn how you can protect your home from embers.

Lesson learned After This Building Set On Fire


IBHS Wildfire
Research Timeline

Headwaters Report:
Construction Costs

Noncombustible Zone Report

Ignition Potential of Decks Subjected to an Ember Exposure Report

Roof Research Fact Sheet

Vent Research Fact Sheet

Op-Ed in San Francisco Chronicle

Guidance for Home and
Business Owners

Remember the Ember

How’d We Do This?

Creating a Wildfire Inside the IBHS Research Center


Wind plays a role in all wildfires. Our 105 fans provide realistic wind gusts that blow embers up to a mile away from the flames in a wildfire.


We burned vegetation to see the amount and size of embers produced.

More Research

…and looked at the effect of flames from various distances from building exteriors.

Moving the Building into the Chamber

Moving the building specimen into the large test chamber requires overcoming a good deal of logistical challenges.

The Building in the Chamber

Media Contacts

Brent Henzi
(850) 879-0156