Garages are vulnerable to wildfire. Combustibles are commonly stored there, and garage doors are typically more ‘leaky’ to embers than anything but vents.

Gaps between the garage door and framing, as well as the vents at the base of this door, would be vulnerable to the entry of burning embers.

Whether you have a garage (vehicle access) door that is made from a combustible or noncombustible material, you can improve its ability to resist an ember attack. Any gaps that exist at the top, sides, and bottom of the door when it is closed are places where embers can easily enter, potentially igniting some of the combustible materials stored there. Given the importance of embers, plugging these gaps will significantly improve the ability of your garage door to resist wildfire.

Vehicle access doors (garage doors) are covered under Chapter 7A. They are considered an exterior door, and so can comply via the exterior door provisions. These options include:

  1. Being made of noncombustible or ignition resistant material
  2. Having a 20-minute fire resistance rating
  3. Comply via SFM 12-7A-1 for walls
  4. Comply prescriptively by being constructed of solid wood meeting minimum thickness requirements for stiles and rails [1-3/8 inches] and field panels [1-1/4 inches].