Brent Berkompas founded Brandguard Vents while working as a firefighter for the City of San Bernardino, California.
He was fighting the 2003 and 2007 California wildfires and saw firsthand the vulnerability of the thousands of homes affected. He noticed that fire brands were a significant cause of fire damage, attacking the structures at their most vulnerable points…the vent openings (unprotected holes in the sides and attics of homes).
Fire embers can cause ignition and continuous fire-spread deep into urban areas. Research shows that while homes are destroyed by the passing fire front, the majority of structural damage is caused by fire embers well before or after the front of the fire.
Watching the embers fly directly into the homes through the vulnerable vent openings, Brent knew that something had to be done to prevent this from happening in the future. That was the inspiration that led to his creating our patent-pending baffle front design, now used throughout our line of fire prevention vents.
Our focus is to improve the defense of structures against the assault of a wildfire, to save homes and to minimize a fire’s damaging effects.
The problem with conventional vent designs is that they offer little to no defense against an approaching wildfire. Laboratory research shows that fire enters into the attic space unimpeded within seconds of exposure.
This illustrates an important point: structures burn from the inside out during wildfires and, if we want to improve a structure’s chances of survival during that exposure, we need to improve the ability for the structure to resist ignition.
Committed to testing, Brandguard Vents are the first fire prevention vent of its kind to be tested against the effects of fire embers and direct flame impingement. Through 3 years of testing with leading industry professionals, the national standard has now been set. The results clearly show that Brandguard Vents offer a safer, more effective fire prevention alternative versus ordinary vents.
In the 2003 Southern California Wildfires, over 5000 structures were destroyed and $253 Million was spent by the state for fire suppression.
During the 2006 Wildfires, the nation set a record for wildfires this year with more than 9.5 million acres burned through early December, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.
January 2008: NEW FIRE CODES in effect to help save homes from the increasing risks of wildfires.