If the area you lived in was subject to earthquakes, insect infestation and wildfires, and you could live in a type of housing that could withstand all those perils, why wouldn’t you? Concrete homes have an amazing resistance to all of the above and are commonly used in Florida and other hurricane ridden locations, but their popularity hasn’t spread to the west coast.
Due to their unique construction, a number of homes have survived the wildfires in California. Pat Callahan owns a concrete house outside Escondido that only suffered smoke damage during the October Witch Creek fire. Although the vinyl windows were melted, the house remained standing.
Another success story was that of Lorraine Aledort and her 5,500 square-foot concrete house near Ramona. The upgrades in her home included:
Concrete roof tiles, glued-down to resist high winds.
Interior fire sprinklers (now a local building requirement).
Oversized wood beams to withstand exposure to heat longer than their smaller counterparts.
An emergency power generator.
A 10,000-gallon water tank to be used in a fire emergency.
Commercial grade aluminum windows...