As we find ourselves in the heart of bushfire season, it’s crucial to ask: are you truly prepared? The threat of ember attacks, the risk of bushfires, and dangers posed by overhanging trees are all too real. Yet, many of us may not have given these threats the consideration they need.
Assessing Bushfire Risk
Bushfires are unpredictable by nature, but certain factors can increase your risk. For instance, homes surrounded by thick vegetation or located on slopes face a higher risk due to the speed at which fires can travel uphill. Branches hanging over your house can present a significant risk during bushfire season. These branches, especially if dry, can easily catch fire and drop embers onto your roof.
Understanding Ember Attacks
Ember attacks can be a significant factor in the spread of bushfires. Embers, carried by wind, can travel long distances, causing fires to start in locations far from the main fire front. Your home could be at risk even if it’s not immediately adjacent to the burning area.
Inside your gutters
Dry leaves in gutters are a source of fuel that can be ignited by bushfire embers. Unprotected gutters are the main reason for this problem; however, poorly-specified gutter mesh can also leave you vulnerable to this threat by allowing leaves to enter your gutters.
Inside your building
Embers can get inside your building through small gaps between your roof, gutters and fascia. They can then start a fire when they land on insulation or other fuel sources. Only a gutter mesh made from materials approved to the Australian standard AS3959-2009 such as corrosion-resistant steel, and with an aperture of 2mm or smaller, will keep embers out of your gutter.
Bushfire compliance and ember guard compliance are different. Do you know the difference?
According to AS3959-2009, gutter guards are optional for new buildings in bushfire-prone areas. However, if you choose to use them the standard states that “if installed, gutter guards shall be non-combustible”.
All Blue Mountain Gutter Mesh, mesh options are bushfire compliant for use as a gutter guard. View our full range here
Ember Guard Compliance
Ember guards are mandatory for all new buildings in areas with a BAL of 12.5 or higher. They are used to “seal” gaps greater than 3mm, such as gaps around your roof sheeting, to stop burning embers getting into your building.