Date: July 8, 2014
In efforts to reduce house fires across the state of California, a California Building Code requires that rain gutters be fitted with leaf/debris guards. This fire prevention policy that applies to rain gutters for new home construction and significant home remodels was adopted in 2009.
The California Building Code states that "Roof gutters shall be provided with the means to prevent the accumulation of leaves and debris in the gutter." Read the CA Building Code.
The Builders Wildfire Mitigation Guide says, "It is the debris that accumulates in gutters that poses one of the greatest wildfire vulnerabilities for a building. If embers generated during a wildfire ignite debris, the resulting fire will provide a flaming (flame impingement) exposure to the edge of the roof."
This code affects certain areas of the state including the State Responsibility Areas and the very high zones of the Local Responsibility Areas. Sixteen cities within the San Bernardino County are included in the Fire Hazard Severity Zone.
Rain gutter guards not only help with preventing fires. They reduce the accumulation of debris and the need to clean your rain gutters out yourself. Gutter guards also help to keep gutters clear for proper rain water runoff. Make sure to include gutter guards in your contract.