California’s extreme fire risk is at an all-time high.

Populated areas in California are at a greater fire risk than 96% of homes in other U.S. states, according to the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service (USDA).

To combat this growing threat, California’s legislature has recently passed a bill to encourage new construction to be made fire-resistant.

Assembly Bill (AB) 2322 will require the State Fire Marshal (SFM) to research and develop mandatory building standards for fire resistance prior to the next triennial edition of the California Building Standards Code adopted on January 1, 2026.

The SFM will propose these new building standards to the California Building Standards Commission (BSC) for their consideration. These fire-resistant standards include:

  • ignition-resistant building materials for critical structures, such as hospitals and schools; and
  • extended fire ratings of four hours, three hours, and two hours.

With the extended fire ratings — four-, three-, and two hours — structures will be able to withstand fire damage for a longer duration. By reinforcing construction to make buildings more fire-resistant, this bill emphasizes the protection of lives.

However, while new building standards are important for promoting wildfire safety, proposals made under this bill can be ignored — or rejected entirely.

Here is where real estate professionals can stay one step ahead by taking the initiative. Agents and brokers can help homeowners and homebuyers by providing information on how to reduce critical mistakes which lead to increased fire damage.

firstuesday’s FARM letters are an excellent source of information on fireproofing methods, free to download, personalize and distribute. Some of these recommendations include:

  • ignition-resistant roofing materials;
  • removing patio furniture when not in use;
  • planting vegetation at least three-to-four feet from the property; and
  • clearing out any flammable debris, such as pine needles, from around the property. [See FARM letter: Avoid fire danger around your home]

By informing your clients on making fire-safe decisions, you ensure their best chance at keeping their properties safe — whether these new building standards are adopted or not.

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FARM: Protect your home from fire