New Bushfire Regulations for Western Australia

Bushfire in WA

New regulations were introduced in Western Australia last year, requiring homes built in bushfire prone areas to meet guidelines designed to reduce the risk of fire damage.

The new building guidelines state that new homes must be built to meet Australian Standard requirements for fire resistance based on the level of risk for the area. This affects not just the construction of new homes, but also renovations done to homes in high-risk areas.

What the National Construction Code (NCC) building standards require for homes in bushfire prone areas is the reduction of;

  • The potential for the home to ignite from burning embers, radiant heat or flame from bushfires
  • The intensity of bushfire attack on the building

Australian Standard AS 3959 Fire RiskThe Australian Standard divides areas into levels prone to bushfire attack, ranging from very low risk (BAL-LOW), through to extreme risk fire zones (BAL-FZ).

These levels dictate the construction standards for each zone and what materials meet the Australian Standards for that area’s fire risk. So new homes and renovations in bushfire prone areas will need to comply in all areas of construction, including roofs, walls, windows, exterior walls and floors.

You can use the Department of Fire & Emergency Services’ interactive map to see bushfire prone areas and where your house is on this scale. You can see from this map that there are many bushfire prone areas around the city of Perth, and plenty still within the suburban areas of Perth North, the Swan Region, and many other outlying regions.

What this means for new home buyers in Perth is if you’re planning on building a new home, or buying for the purpose of renovation, you’ll have to consider the fire risk in the area and how that will affect building costs.

High-risk areas will drive up the price of building materials as they need to be fire resistant in order to comply with Australian Standards.

Are you planning on buying a home in Perth? By getting a building and pest report from one of our experienced inspectors, you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing the bushfire risk the home is in, and what restrictions you’ll be facing if you intend to renovate.

Contact us on 1300 337 447 to arrange an inspection, or book online today.

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