In last weeks’ blog we looked at Perth’s bush fire prone areas and explained that properties within these areas would need to be assessed for their Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) prior to building a granny flat.
But what happens after your BAL has been established?
Depending on your exposure to radiant heat and risk of ember attack or direct flame contact there are several products and methods we can use to help protect your building in the event of a bushfire.
Embers are small pieces of burning twigs/branches/leaves/debris that are carried by the wind and land on or around houses before, during and after a bushfire. Should embers land in gutters, enter roof spaces, get under doorways or be blown through windows it is then very easy for a building to catch alight even if a great distance from the fire front itself.
Some of the ways we can limit the damage of ember attack include:
- Using aluminium flyscreens to windows and doors
- Installing ember guards to gutters
- Sealing all junctions between the external walls and roof
- Installing sarking underneath wall cladding and roofing
- Installing weather/draught seals to doors
- Metal mesh over vents and openings
- Sealing around all roof and wall penetrations
- Sprinkler systems
DIRECT FLAME CONTACT
Preparing for your granny flat to be able to withstand direct contact with flames during a bushfire, some of the recommended protection measures include using:
- Aluminium window frames
- Hardwood timbers that are naturally fire resistant
- Timbers that have a fire-retardant treatment
- Non-combustible wall claddings such as fibre cement
- Toughened or laminated glass in windows and doors
- Solid timber external doors
Should you be considering building a granny flat in a bushfire prone area, you may also consider upgrading and retro-fitting some of these features to your existing home.