Retrofit for bushfires

Whether you're retrofitting to improve your bushfire safety, or renovating for an expanding family, you can improve your home's fire resistance by taking steps to prevent entry or reduce potential fuel for the fire.

Enclose the open areas under your decks and floors.

Our desire to live close to nature means that many homes are built in areas that are at risk of bushfire. To protect your house it is vital that you prevent sparks and burning material from entering through windows, under doors, or under floorboards. 

Openings under suspended floor voids are potential fire entry sources, so enclose and protect any open areas under your decks and floors with fly wire and non-combustible sheeting, to prevent fire spreading through these vulnerable areas.

If under-floor areas are used to store timber, firewood, or other flammable materials, the risk is compounded. Make sure that under-floor areas are kept clear of flammable material during summer.

Install fine steel-wire mesh screens on all external windows, doors, vents and weep holes; assess whether windows and doors will withstand strong winds and extreme heat.

Queensland has adopted the Australian Standard for the Construction of Buildings in Bushfire Prone Areas AS3959:3 (2009), which sets out the requirements for the construction of buildings in bushfire prone areas. Houses subjected to burning debris, radiant heat, or flame contact from a bushfire need to withstand these conditions, to protect families and their homes.

Crevices where embers can collect are potential ignition points. Cracks under doors, on window ledges, windows, or along verandas are particularly vulnerable. Vents into the house structure are also common entry points for sparks and should be covered in fine wire mesh to prevent embers from entering the home through wall vents, roof cavity areas, or through windows.

External windows and doors are points vulnerable to fire entry and require careful consideration. Select solid-core external doors with metal flywire screen. Use non-flammable draught excluders and pet access doors. Place weather stripping around the inside of doors and windows to eliminate any gaps.

Consider replacing timber decking with fire-resilient alternatives.

While timber is an attractive building material that enhances the look of any building, fires love timber. The most commonly used fuel for controlled fires is wood. Any timber around your home such as timber decking around pools, stairs, railings, and entertainment decks will provide additional fuel. Consider installing fencing made from non-combustible materials such as metal or brick.