BUSHFIRE PROTECTION PERTH WA - ARE YOU BUILDING BUSHFIRE READY? 2017
January 31, 2017
Survive and protect property
in a BUSHFIRE.
The recently released State planning policy, State Planning Policy 3.7 Planning in Bushfire Prone Areas (SPP 3.7) outlines the foundation for land use planning. SPP 3.7 directs how land use should address bushfire risk management in Western Australia. It applies to all land which has been appointed as bushfire prone by the Fire and Emergency Services (FES) Commissioner.
The general consensus is that there are two options in a Bushfire event “Stay & Defend, or Leave Early.”
A century of data suggests that people more often die escaping fires than fighting them, and that most houses are set alight by ember-attacks, which are much easier to fight than an advancing wall of flame. But one flaw is already emerging: people are not taught to prepare themselves emotionally for the onslaught of a fire. Many die fleeing, having decided to stay but then losing their nerve. With no protection previously legislated/enforced such as fire protection for vulnerable openings of homes, there was no barrier between residents and the fires heat/flame, causing “Stay & Defend” to become a potentially dangerous option.
Discouraging home builders from accepting BAL requirements is the perception of “cost only”. One needs to look past cost and consider these safeguards as an investment. Although they can be significant, the extra cost for BAL protection will be forgotten when faced with a bushfire. Allowing the home owner to “Stay & Defend” with Confidence or “Leave Early” with Peace of Mind.
Looking back on the devastating Yarloop and Kelmscott/Roleystone Bushfires we can see how unpredictable and distressing bushfires can be. Residents that chose to “Leave Early,” knew their homes were not safe and might not be around when they returned. Many homes destroyed in bushfires survive the passing of the initial fire front only to succumb to embers and debris borne on the wind. Yarloop suffered with more than 160 properties destroyed and 2 lives taken. The fires in Kelmscott/Roleystone, demolished 72 homes and damaged another 32 properties, ravaged state and local council land when the flames spiraled out of control on February 6, 2011.
Western Australia has some of the driest climatic regions in Australia and is prone to bushfire attack, particularly around the south west regions. In the past few years there have been many fire events that have devastated bushland areas, destroyed properties and taken lives. The number of bushfires per week in Australia 'increased by 40 per cent' between 2008 and 2013.
Products now readily available in WA allow you to build a home in Bushfire prone areas whilst maintaining a reasonable amount of bushland – which let’s face it, is the reason you want to build there in the first place.