Constructing A Fire Proof Home

Local Margaret River architect David Willcox is designing a house for his client that might be saved in the event of a fire.

Willcox believes that external cladding, clearing and flooring are the vital factors in making a structure fire proof. The news article “Building a fire resistant house” has full details on this story. It quotes Willcox as saying: “External cladding made of fire resistant timber or compressed concrete products on a timber frame could be used. Compressed cement is a fibrous material which must be at least 9mm thick to be classified as a fire resisting material for most standards.”

According to Willcox, building standards are a complicated area and so is fire protection. It is important to seek advice on particular relevant standards for any specific dwelling and block. There are, however, a few major areas to consider when it comes to a fire proof home, he believes. “The big one is external walls.”

Willcox ‘s client, Sean Blocksidge, served as a crew leader of the Wallcliffe bushfire brigade that battled the wildfire in Margaret River last November. More than 40 homes were damaged or destroyed.

Before the bushfires, Blocksidge and his partner had been planning to construct on Kilcarnup Ridge that came out to be right in the centre of the blaze zone. The experience forced the pair to alter their decision about the materials, the design they wanted to use and the way they wanted to live.

It’s impossible to construct a fire resistant house, agree both Blocksidge and Willcox but there are ways in which you can make your home safer in fire prone zones such as Margaret River.

As well as building a new home with a fire resistant capability, it is also possible to renovate your existing home to better withstand blaze, says Willcox.

Fire Attack Levels:

A rural setting and ambience are important to most of the people living in Margaret River. Before any construction begins, the Shire of Augusta Margaret River requires its owners to examine the level of blaze intensity that could impact the dwelling.

Vegetation type, proximity and density are all assessed before assigning a Bushfire Attack Level (BAL).

The BAL-FZ is the highest threat rating, says Willcox and a home on a BAL-FZ rated site usually requires walls made of non-combustible materials such as concrete or masonry.

The next highest rating is BAL-40 that requires a fire proof timber framed structure.

About Benji

I am married and live on a farm near Margaret River with my wife, daughter and son. I set up The Margaret River Guide to assist people coming to Margaret River Western Australia to easily find what they are looking for. I also wanted to allow people to find activities they did not know about and to be able to openly comment on/ review businesses.

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