Once again, bushfire season is upon us, and for many Australians, it’s a time of anxiety when it comes to considering the safety of their friends, family and home.
There is no shortage of tips when it comes to protecting your house retroactively, but recently there has been a surge in thinking proactively. Instead of designing your dream home and then altering it later to fit bushfire safety standards, it is even more beneficial to design your home specifically so it has more chance of being left standing if a bushfire should ever sweep through.
How is my property at risk? Starting at the very base of the design process, the best way to find out what kind of risk your property has in bushfire season is to get a professional to conduct a Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) assessment. The assessment will place your property on a scale outlining the risk your property faces due to its proximity to bush, the slope of the property and the proximity to main roads, as well as a whole host of other factors. The BAL level determines the construction method and materials that must be used when building on your property.
For all properties, the main points of concern are embers becoming trapped in small spaces and the escape plans in a fire emergency. For example, if you have a timber deck that is at risk of catching fire, do you have another way to exit the house?