Victoria is one of the areas most at risk of bushfires in the world. Domestic buildings and some residential buildings (such as boarding houses) constructed in Victoria must comply with the Australian Standard AS 3959-2018 – Construction of buildings in bushfire-prone areas or the NASH Standard 2014 – Steel Framed Construction in Bushfire Areas. This applies to all new domestic buildings, alterations and additions in Victoria, including associated garages and sheds.
While the standards reduce the risk of ignition of homes in Victoria's bushfire-prone areas, it is important to note that it does not guarantee a building will survive the unpredictable and often devastating nature of a bushfire.
Precautions for protecting your home
There are many ways to upgrade your home to improve protection from bushfires. We recommend the following precautions to help protect your home:
- Seal gaps with joining strips, silicon weather strips, draught excluders on side-hung doors.
- Seal vents and weep holes in external walls with corrosion resistant steel, bronze or aluminium mesh.
- Seal around roofing and roof penetrations.
- If an evaporative cooler is installed, protect it with a mesh screen.
- Clear leaves from gutters and considering installing an appropriate leaf-guard product.
- Check that your gutters are in good condition and will hold water if you block the downpipes.
- Enclose the subfloor of your home with a non-combustible material.
- Install shutters or metal flyscreens to doors and windows.
- Remove any overhanging tree branches, take out shrubs over one metre high next to or below windows, keep grass short and clean up other debris near your home that could easily catch fire.
It is also important to make sure your property is accessible for emergency vehicles and has a water supply for firefighting. If you have a rainwater tank near your home, ensure it is accessible.
In this section
- Rebuilding after a bushfire
- Bushfire areas and overlays
- Private bushfire shelters (bunkers)
- Bushfire resources
- For current bushfire incidents and warnings, visit VicEmergency.
- To find out more about home improvements to make your house safe, visit the Country Fire Authority (CFA) website.
- You should also familiarise yourself with the CFA’s Fire Ready Kit and prepare a bushfire plan.
- Visit the Victorian Government’s 2019–20 Victorian Fire Season campaign website.