Need to Know:
- Your shed’s location, the vegetation around it, and how easy your property is to access can all have a bearing on bushfire safety.
- Regulations vary in different areas, so always get advice from your local council on bushfire protection requirements.
- Maintaining your shed is an important part of your fire and emergency plan – keep gutters and roofs free of debris, and keep long grass and combustible items away from your shed where possible. This can help mitigate damage from ember attacks.
In this Article:
How to Build a Fire-Resistant Shed
Bushfires regularly devastate properties across the country, so as we emerge from winter and head towards the warmer months, it’s the perfect time to explore the issue of buildings and fire safety.
A steel structure is a great way to protect your assets from fire danger, including the fire itself, and also damage from ash, smoke and heat.
When planning your new building project, speak with your relevant authority (usually the local council) about what requirements you must meet for fire safety. By complying with this advice, your shed will be as safe as it can be from the threat of bushfires.
Some things to consider will be:
- Location: How close is your structure to boundary fencing and other structures?
- Vegetation: Will your structure be built close to trees?
- Access: Can large fire trucks navigate your driveway and property?
- Materials: A steel structure will be more protected from fire than a timber one. All materials, including insulation, should be checked for fire safety rating before the construction of your shed begins.
- Regulations: Requirements are different from state to state and council to council, so it’s wise to contact your local authority for the most up-to-date information.
How to Maintain a Bushfire-Safe Building
It’s important to build your structure correctly – but just as important to maintain it effectively.
Property owners are encouraged to give their shed the best chance of surviving a fire by keeping the building and the immediate area around it well-maintained.
- Protect your asset by filling in and covering all gaps where a fire could enter or embers become wedged and burn. Areas to consider include eaves, air vents and roof cavities.
- Install metal fly screens on your windows and vents to keep sparks and embers out.
- Gutter guards are a great way to prevent the build-up of leaves and debris.
- Keep grass mowed low around your building and clean up fallen branches and other materials which could fuel a fire.
- Keep firewood away from structures and buildings.
When There’s a Fire
When there is a bushfire in your area, it’s important that you stay vigilant and take heed of all emergency warnings. If it is safe to do so, there are a few things that can help prevent catastrophic damage to your shed:
- Ember attacks are often the biggest threat, and in recent years have been impacting properties up to 30 km in front of the fireline. If there is a bushfire nearby, regularly check your structure and other assets for signs of an ember attack to address the problem before it worsens.
- Clean the immediate area of combustible items including wooden garden furniture and other things that can catch alight.
- Petrol and gas cylinders are particularly dangerous in fire emergencies and should not be stored in buildings at this time.
Start Designing your Australian Made Shed with Buffalo Built
To find out more about how to design, build and maintain a high-quality bushfire-resistant shed, call Buffalo Built on (03) 5721 2633.