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    Default Staw Bale house fire

    Has anyone had a fire in a straw bale house yet? Any special concerns/problems? We just had one built in our area, and want to know before the call.
    Thanks.

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    Talking sorry...I couldn't resist!

    Beware of big bad wolves..they have been known to huff and puff and blow the house in!
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    Sound like a weinee roast to me, bring the food and save a foundation.

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    Most of the hay bale fires I've been involved with have been in agricultural rather than structural settings, but be prepared to use plenty of wetting agent (wetter water, AFFF at low concentration, etc.) to penetrate the bales. Piercing nozzles are good for getting the wet stuff where the fire is. I assume there is a stucco-like covering inside and out? A piercing nozzle can help there, too.

    I'd take a close look at how much weight the walls are holding up. I don't expect that a stray bale house will collapse in anything like what you've experienced before. I'd err on the side of caution.
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    These homes are fairly popular in the South West, you might try contacting Phoenix, Tucsan, Sierra Vista, or Fry fire departments in AZ, all should have enough of these homes in their districts to have some sort of guidence on dealing with a fire in them.

    Here are a few sites I found with some discussion of their fire characteristics.

    http://www.eere.energy.gov/EE/strawh...-of-straw.html

    http://www.highway7.com/t_sustainabl...strawfire.html

    http://www.balewatch.com/questions.html

    http://www.users.bigpond.com/brookma...ingProject.htm

    I would think having class A foam available would be a good idea for penetrating the bales.

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    Thanks, I'm trying to ""keep the wolf from our door"".
    We have CAFS, CLass A, and piercing nozzles on hand. I'll ask those departments, to see if they have had any fires yet.

    Pepole who live in straw bale houses should not throw the first ... match!

    (At least this straw has not been process through the horse yet!)

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    A friend of mine that I worked with here on the Base retired about 4 yrs ago. He was seriously looking into using hay bales as a construction material. The information he had on doing the building was quite extensive, and the walls were actually more fire retardant than a normal home.

    I seem to recall that there was a special treatment for the hay, as well as use of heavy drywall. It wasnt quite what I would have given consideration as a building material, but it seemed like pretty good stuff.

    As Slueth says, at least it was not processed 'through the horse first'
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    Call me silly, but I'd take my chances in a home with walls made of baled straw over balloon frame wooden sticks!

    The straw's probably a pain in the but, but if you have straw below, straw above, sheetrock inside, and wall outside they're aint much surface exposed, and fire doesn't move fast burrowing in a bale!
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    BTW, I kind of doubt that anyone would advertise their new construction method as:

    "... and, it has the fire resistance of a strike anywhere match dipped in gasoline!"

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    From what I have seen and read, there ain't much chance of a fire in the bails. Much like the adobe type construction, that hay is covered..both inside and out. A room and contesnts fire would be just that....without muchg chance of the "structural straw" igniting.

    Dave

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    I haven't researched this but I assume the wiring is run behind the stucco in chases. I'd suspect smoldering ignition inside the walls would be more likely to cause a structural wall failure than a room and contents fire, as Dave already pointed out.

    So would it be considered a structural grass fire or a grass structure fire?
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