Firefighters at work.
In February 2009, Victoria experienced one of Australia’s worst bushfire disasters. The Black Saturday bushfires resulted in the highest loss of life from a bushfire, and left many families homeless in its aftermath.
Worryingly, Australians have been warned that bushfire season is likely to start earlier and last longer this year. The Natural Hazard Cooperative Research Centre is predicting an above average fire theatre due to high temperatures, heightened wind patterns and exceptionally dry conditions.
Fires have already been recorded in NSW, Queensland and Northern Territory.
Buildings in bushfire zones rely on the government’s Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) scale to measure their potential fire risks. There are six levels of BAL rating, ranging from Low (insufficient risk to warrant specific requirements) to FZ (flame zone).
The scale similarly provides required construction criteria for buildings at each level.
The centre has warned that many vulnerable communities are ill-prepared for bushfire season and is encouraging the re-enforcing of vulnerable parts of buildings – doors, windows and facade.
Read more about bushfire regulations and safety in the following links:
Bushfire Attack Levels - Are you playing with fire?
Style and safety in non-combustible cladding
A window on the world of bushfire safety
Shut the door on fire danger