While rural areas offer Australians tranquillity that bustling city life cannot compete with, the risk of bushfires is ever present. A bushfire can devastate a property and destroy your lifestyle in an instant. The Building Commission and Country Fire Authority (CFA) have joined together and produced an online PDF guide for homeowners looking to upgrade their homes and protect them from bushfires. Here are the top five retrofit options for protecting your home against various Bushﬁre Attack Levels (BAL).
#1. Fire Resistant Timber Coatings
The application of fire-retardant products to timber will increase its resistant to fire. Fire retardant foams can be sprayed onto timber in and around the home. These products will decrease the ease with which timber catches fire and can offer protection against low attack level bushfires. Common areas where this coating can be used include timber outbuildings, beams in the roof, doors and even decking. For exposed timber, clear coatings can be applied to increase the resistance to fire without altering its appearance.
#2. Sprinkler Systems
Installing a sprinkler system is a common way to increase a home’s defenses against a bushfire. These systems can save a home from devastation when faced with a low level bushfire. Although sprinkler systems will ruin possessions and belongings, they will reduce the internal temperature of the home and make it harder for the main structure to catch alight. Ruined carpets are preferable to a destroyed home. Sprinkler systems are common retrofit options for Australians concerned about protecting their homes from fire.
#3. Fire Walls
External structures within six meters of the home are one of the greatest fire risks during a fire. If timber outbuildings and structures catch fire, the fire quickly spreads to the home. The best retrofit option to prevent this spread of fire is the construction of fire resistant walls. In some cases, this can save a home from fire even if the outbuildings are destroyed.
#4. Replace Combustible Materials
The average home is constructed from dozens of combustible materials. Replacing decking, doors and windows with non-combustible materials can help slow the spread of fire. Most Australians use solid timber doors to create an additional layer of fire protection.
#5. Bushfire Rated Roller Shutters
Bushfire-rated roller shutters can help to protect your family, home and belongings from a low-level bushfire. Fully extruded aluminium shutters are designed to cover large span doors and windows and keep them protected from heat and flying debris. If you choose shutters that meet the Bushfire Construction Standard AS3959-2009, you will find that these are rated to Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) A40 and offer radiant heat-shielding properties of 40 KW/m2. As these shutters are aluminium, they come in a choice of profile colours and are completely motorized meaning that they will drop down from their housings when a fire in detected.
Although shutters are a large investment, they do let you keep your existing windows and doors intact without having to replace them. Besides this, they can be used to increase the security of your home at night. Roller shutters are a comprehensive solution to bush fire protection, regardless of which direction the fire comes from.
These top-five ways of protecting your home from bush fire should have given you some ideas. The ideas on this list are moderate to high cost solutions for increasing your home’s defences against bushfires. If you have already completed retrofit modifications of your home, let us know which options you chose and why. Which steps did you follow? What would you recommend to others? Leave us a comment below or to request a quote call All District Roller Shutters on 1300 807 011 today!