AS-3959 Construction of buildings in bushfire prone areas how this affects you?

The general pubic may or may not be a where of this legislation until it finds you.

The bush fire categories start at BAL-LOW, BAL 12-5, BAL-19, BAL-29, BAL-40 & the grand daddy BAL-FZ (build a house with in a fire storm) type scenario

If you are buying or have already brought land- Watch out! Know what additional costs are going to be.

It is not simply feasible, practible or cost effective to build a house in a BAL-FZ zone & bad enough for the BAL-40).

From a recent job study, we estabilished that, to build a (2 storey- 400m²) house with in a BAL-29 will be costing you an additional 10% of normal build price.

This legislation was picked up by the QLD government & implimented this year. I wounder if anyone cared to look through it?

The cheapest way to fire rate a house in BAL-29 (windows only at this point) is that you will need Mesh with minimum apperture of 2mm, 5mm toughened glass, steel hardware & the window itself made from materials with flammability no greater than 5. This means from our case study the windows went from $8500 to $18,500 (did have quote of $42k) thats not counting the screens at $10,500.

On a BAL-29 only the opening portions of the window require screens. On a BAL-40 both the fixed & opening require it, plus the glass goes to 6mm toughened. Therefore you could probably add another $5k for the screens alone. (Note: that the sides of the building away from the preceived fire front can be down graded one)

This also applies to Glazing in doors (sliding & hinged).

Heres my point!!

More people die from fires that start in a house than from bush fires each year.

  1. How do you get out of a burning house if in the case of a BAL-40 every glass panel is toughened & every glass panel has a burglar proof screen on it
  2. How does the fire service get into a burning house?

Did anyone think about that when rolling out this legislation?

If we where to concentrate as much energy & money into driver training each year I think we would save many more lives.

Don’t get me wrong we need to protect lives & property from bush fire attacks but a blanket cover that applies to surburban area’s as much as rural is completly out of context.


Yours faithfully,

Dazza (more…)

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