Bushfire prone areas
Bushfire Prone Areas are areas that are subject to or likely to be subject to wildfire. The aim of the residential building standard for bushfire protection is to improve the ability of a building to withstand a wildfire attack.
Is my property in a Bushfire Prone Area?
To determine if you are in a Bushfire Prone Area you can apply for a property information certificate through Council or you can apply for a bushfire prone area report through the Victorian Government Land website.
Bushfire Attack Level assessments
On determining your property is in a Bushfire Prone Area, you will need to carry out an assessment to determine the Bushfire Attack Level (BAL). This inspection can be carried out by a building surveyor, owner, architect, building designer or builder. Once a BAL assessment has been completed, you can design your building based on the BAL construction requirements. To comply with the Australian Standard all new homes constructed in a Bushfire Prone Area must be built to a minimum of 12.5 to help withstand ember attack.
Many existing homes do not meet the current levels of bushfire protection required by regulations. A guide to retrofitting and upgrading existing homes is available on the Victorian Building Authority Website.
Bushfire shelters and bunkers
Bushfire shelters have to comply with performance requirements set out in the Building Code of Australia including safe access and maintaining conditions within the shelter for the period of occupancy. Further information on bushfire shelters can be found on the Victorian Building Authority Website.
A bushfire shelter requires a Building Permit prior to commencing construction.