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Standards for building in bushfire prone areas

Construction of buildings on bushfire prone land requires careful planning and development. To assist, there are a range of bushfire construction Standards to help minimise risks and damage to the building.

orange bushfire haze in the background of eucalyptus tree silhouette

3 Standards to assist in building in bushfire prone areas

Building in an area prone to bushfire attacks requires careful consideration and planning to help improve its resistance. As natural disasters such as bushfires are unpredictable in nature, with potentially devastating consequences, building to the requirements of Australian bushfire Standards is important.

Whether you are building or renovating in bushfire prone areas, Standards play a role in stating certain requirements to improve the level of safety and reduce the likeliness of damage to the building.

Here are three key Standards: 


1. AS 3959:2018 Construction of buildings in bushfire-prone areas

This Standard specifies requirements for the construction of buildings in bushfire prone areas to better withstand a fire and improve the resistance to the three forms of attack: embers, radiant heat and flame contact.

AS 3959:2018 aims to improve the design and construction of a building to minimise damage and is used as one part of a wider management plan which should also consider landscaping, maintenance and other areas.

This Standard is designed to improve performance in the event of a bushfire, however there is no guarantee for the building during such an event due to the behaviour of extreme weather conditions.

This edition of AS 3959:2018, in PDF Personal use format, has been made available at no cost user through joint funding from Standards Australia and the Commonwealth Government. This is a great opportunity to adopt the Standard and educate your community regarding best practice when building in bush fire prone areas.

2. AS 5414:2012 Bushfire water spray systems

This Standard specifies general requirements for the design, installation and maintenance of water spray systems to give a degree of protection for buildings in the event a bushfire, including embers, with limited protection against radiant heat exposure.

AS 5414:2012 systems are made to compliment the requirements of AS 3959 and are only one component of what should be considered in a comprehensive fire management plan.  

3. AS 1530.8.2:2018 Methods for fire tests on building materials, components and structures

This Standard sets out test procedures and criteria of construction elements for buildings exposed to simulated bushfire attacks using large flaming sources. AS 1530.8.2:2018 was designed to set uniform requirements for test conditions, procedures and criteria to determine the resistance of single and multiple building elements to fire to classify their performance.

Planning and preparation at the early stages of building in a bushfire prone area can help minimise the damage of a bushfire and improve its resistance. Take the time to ensure your building is up to Standard. 

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