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Building in Bushfire Prone Areas

 

There is no one answer for protecting buildings against fire attack, rather a combination of methods is the best defence. These include, but are not limited to:

  • The correct siting of buildings
  • Creating barriers and buffer zones around your home
  • Using the appropriate design and construction methods and materials for new residential buildings.

Queensland has adopted the Australian Standard for the Construction of Buildings in Bushfire Prone Areas -  AS3959 – 2009. AS3959 sets out the requirements for the construction of buildings in bushfire prone areas in order to improve their safety when they are subjected to burning debris, radiant heat or flame contact generated from a bushfire.

You should check with your Local Council to determine if your property is in a “designated bushfire prone area”. A designated bushfire prone area is land declared by local governments, as likely to be subjected to bushfires.

In the most extreme fire risk areas, measures required for new homes will include:

  • A concrete slab.​
  • Exterior walls must be constructed of non-combustible materials such as brick veneer or concrete.
  • Non-combustible material on the roof, veranda or deck.
  • Sealed wall and roof joints to guard against ember attacks.
  • Shutters made from aluminium or other non-combustible material, or toughened glass for windows.
  • Door frames made from fire resistant timber, with a weather strip at the base.
  • Metal rather than plastic external trimmings such as vents, guttering and down pipes.

The residential building standard applies to:

  • New homes or outbuildings of any construction type such as brick veneer, mud brick and timber.
  • Rebuilding of homes or outbuildings
  • Repairs to part of a building or outbuilding such as garage, shed or fireplace and
  • Additions to home and outbuildings within six metres of a dwelling.​

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