As seen in this figure, the radiant energy generated by a burning home can damage a neighboring home.

This plywood siding was ignited by the radiant exposure from a neighboring home that ignited and was destroyed. In this case, the siding didn’t sustain combustion after the neighboring home burned out.

If ignited during a wildfire, small buildings or gazebos located near a home or building would also provide a radiant exposure to the primary building. Depending on size and materials, the exposure may not be as severe as that provided by a neighboring home.

Chapter 7A gives some latitude to the building official regarding other buildings on the parcel. Language in the code currently states that ‘When required by enforcing agency’ … other buildings on the parcel … ‘shall comply the provisions of this chapter.’

This sections empowers the building official to require ‘outbuildings’ to comply with the provisions of Chapter 7A when deemed necessary for the protection of the primary building. In this slide, the ancillary structure is a gazebo. They could also be play houses, tool sheds, and other buildings located near the primary building.

Most jurisdictions have a minimum size of a building (in terms of square footage) whereby building permits aren’t required. Still, this section allows the building official to require compliance to Chapter 7A provisions if the official thinks the building, if ignited, can threaten the primary building.