As a homeowner, one of your top priorities is protecting your house and family. And living in an area prone to wildfires makes that especially crucial. So when it comes to your roof, you likely wonder – are asphalt shingles flammable?

The short answer is yes, asphalt roofing shingles are flammable. However, that doesn’t mean you should avoid them if you live in a fire-prone region.

You just need the right type of shingles with ample fire resistance. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about asphalt shingle flammability.

Fire Ratings for Asphalt Shingles

While asphalt shingles contain flammable components, they receive ratings based on testing that exposes them directly to flames.

These fire ratings give you an idea of how well certain asphalt shingles resist catching fire.

The ratings include:

  • Class A – These shingles are designed to be fire resistant, providing a strong defense against the spread of flames
  • Class B – Mostly fire-resistant, though may ignite if exposed to extreme heat for a prolonged time
  • Class C – Only slightly fire-resistant and likely to catch fire during a house fire

Among reputable brands like GAF, most modern asphalt shingles have a Class A rating.

This means exposing them directly to flames during testing did not result in the shingles catching on fire.

However, Class A shingles aren’t completely fireproof. They still carry a slight risk of igniting during an extreme house fire over a long period.

But Class A shingles provide the highest fire protection you can get with asphalt roofing.

Video: Are roof shingles catching fire or are they fire resistant?

Taking Steps to Prevent Asphalt Shingle Fires

While Class A shingles provide ample fire resistance, you can take extra steps to prevent your asphalt roof from catching fire:

  • Inspect for damage: Damaged, loose, or missing shingles compromise fire resistance. Ensure no signs of wear through regular inspections.
  • Clear debris: Buildup of leaves, twigs and other flammable materials can ignite and spread flames. Keep your roof and gutters clear.
  • Consider alternatives: Though costlier upfront, metal or tile roofs provide superior fire resistance.

Ask the Right Questions When Hiring a Roofer

When hiring a contractor for asphalt roof replacement, ask plenty of questions about fire safety:

  • Do you use Class A fire-rated asphalt shingles?
  • What wind resistance rating do your shingles have? Look for at least 130+ mph.
  • Are your shingles algae-resistant to prevent mold/damage?
  • Will the roof be entirely watertight once installed?
  • Can the shingles help reduce cooling costs in summer?

Get clear answers confirming the roofer uses only the best materials and practices for durability, wind resistance and fire safety.

Better Safe Than Sorry: Take Every Fire Precaution

When it comes to wildfire safety, you don’t want to take any chances. That’s why Class A fire-rated asphalt shingles make an ideal, affordable roofing choice for fire-prone regions.

Combined with strict debris removal, regular inspections and top-notch installation, you can have considerable fire protection.

Of course, no asphalt shingle is completely fireproof forever. But Class A shingles are the next best thing for resisting flames.

Considering that an average asphalt re-roof costs $5,700 to $16,000 and an estimated 358,500 home fires occur every year, investing in a fire-resistant roof is definitely a wise decision.

If you have any other questions about asphalt shingle flammability, don’t hesitate to ask a professional roofer. They have deep insight on the fire ratings, brands, materials and best practices for your specific area and home.

Stay proactive about fire safety. With the right roof, you have one less thing to worry about if disaster strikes.