Here at FT Adjusting, we like to pay particular attention to building regulations. We are, after all, a company that specialises in claims arising from construction and engineering. That’s why, as I was flicking through the latest issue of Insurance News Magazine, I was interested to see an article about bushfire building regulations and an in-depth exploration of hot tips for bushfire preparation and safety.
According to the article, bushfire regulations don’t always cover everything. Justin Leonard is the research leader for CSIRO’s Bushfire Urban Design. His latest investigation was into the damaged houses in the 2015 Christmas Day bushfires along the Great Ocean Road in Victoria. Both regulation-adhering houses and non-regulation adhering houses were damaged in the blaze. This included homes that were built to withstand any bushfire in accordance with standards introduced in 2010. His burning question was; why did these properties still burn down?
Well, Leonard argues that small but important details can be overlooked in bushfire preparation, and these details aren’t included in building regulations. Here’s some of the most important things homeowners should pay attention to in fire preparation, according to Leonard.
- Make sure you do not store combustible materials, for example, heavy fuel, under or adjacent to your home. Many homes are not capable of withstanding heat from these fuels.
- Use non-combustible water tanks.
- Place large, fuel-heavy items such as boats and cars at least six meters from your home.
- Remove flammable materials and vegetation surrounding the house.
These are just a few tips to make your home a whole lot safer in the event of a bushfire. It can even be as simple as understanding where the risks are in your home. After all, we may not be able to control the weather, but we are able to make changes to the way we prepare for environmental events. You can read the full article by Bernice Han in the April/May issue of Insurance News (The Magazine).
Words by Skye Jamieson