Approximately 1 in every 5 houses will be required to meet new bushfire building standards from 8 April 2016. The Department of Fire and Emergency Services has developed a Fire Danger Map, detailing areas of WA that are bushfire prone areas and are subject to bushfire building reforms. A home will be declared bushfire prone if it is within 100 metres of 1 hectare or more of bushland. The majority of the state is considered bushfire-prone.
The new data shows that nearly 12,000 buildings have been erected in high-risk areas, including in Ellenbrook, Atwell and Wandi. Half of Gosnells and large areas of Canning Vale will be considered bushfire-prone, and even metropolitan areas such as Mosman Park, South Perth and Cottesloe are affected.
The Emergency Services Minister Joe Francis said the cost of meeting the requirements could mean adding another $50,000 to the cost of the building. However, he admitted the Government had a ‘moral obligation’ to declare the state’s bushfire-prone areas. He added that a ‘bushfire hazard assessment’ would be necessary for new homes in bushfire-prone areas.
The bushfire hazard assessment would rate homes against bushfire attack levels on a Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) scale, and determine the measures required for the new building to be compliant, from requiring ember screens on evaporative air conditioners to toughened glass and non-combustible decking and other more stringent conditions.
The measures will not operate retrospectively, however Mr Francis has encouraged people in bushfire-prone areas to make the necessary modifications.
For more information
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