Keeping your home and family safe from bushfire involves many things. This includes choosing where to build your home on your property, the materials you use to build, the design of your house and landscaping can all be factors in defending your home during a bushfire.
Planning SA's website provides an overview of the requirements that apply to all new homes and accommodation facilities built in South Australia's designated Bushfire Prone Areas. It also provides information on extending an existing home in a designated Bushfire Prone Area.
Planning Where to Build Your Home
Many Councils employ a Fire Prevention Officer to assist the community in planning and prevention strategies. They can assist you by:
- Conducting fuel load assessments in your area
- Advising on appropriate fuel management techniques
- Advising on fire prevention issues.
The Country Fire Service can also assist you with planning. Contact the Development Assessment Unit on (08) 8391 6077.
Designing Your Home
When building a new home in a rural area some of the things that should be considered are:
- House Siting and design
- Ember Proof the House and Other Buildings
- Metal shutters for windows
- Reserve Water Supply, Pumps,Hoses and Sprinkler Systems
While fires are inevitable, they are also survivable- and your chances of saving yourself, your family and your home increase according to your level of planning and preparation. The CFS will not always be able to protect each individual property threatened by fire.
Planning the landscaping around your home will improve your chances of protecting your home during a bushfire. This refers to the location and maintenance of selected plant species surrounding your buildings. When correctly managed this can:
- Reduce fire intensity
- Wind speed
- Deflect and filter embers
- Provide shelter from radiant heat
Other things that you should consider are:
- Location of Equipment Sheds for Hazardous Materials and Flammables
- Fire Fighting Equipment
- LPG Gas Storage
- Installing Sprinkler systems
For More information:
If you are unsure which Local Council you belong to, follow the directions on the Local Government Website.
For Further Reading on This Subject:
Landscape & Building Design for Bushfire Areas published by the CSIRO sets out a practical design approach to the design of buildings and their immediate surroundings. It also describes what happens in a bushfire and how buildings are ignited.