How to build a fire resilient house
Discover how this household is defending their house against extreme weather, especially bushfires.
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In Mt Resilience, you can see how residents have designed and built their homes to protect themselves from the effects of extreme weather, due to the impacts of climate change. However, no building is fire-proof. Residents are always ready to evacuate and keep connected to their neighbours.
And anyone living in a bushfire prone area is aware of state government regulations for the level of risk and building requirements for their area.
Read on for more tips on how to prepare your home for bushfire season, and watch the ABC's Big Weather episode 'Prepare your home for bushfire season'.
Clearing space and maintaining your driveway
Residents clear space, weeds and leaf litter and remove shrubs that could fuel a fire. Some big trees and fire resistant plants are left to reduce the risk of heat and ember attack. A wide, well maintained driveway can become an important turning circle for fire trucks, so they can move in and out of your property easily.
Use sustainable building materials
Anyone building in fire prone areas knows their level of risk and knows what building codes they must meet for their area.
Metal, cement render and brick are low combustible materials, making this house fire resistant. Airtight windows and doors help keep the smoke out and all the electricity cables run underground. There are also economic and environmental benefits to this approach - your home requires less energy to heat and cool.
Water storage and sprinklers
An underwater tank and pump system helps residents ensure they don’t run out of water to fight fires. By harvesting rainwater or drilling a bore to access groundwater, residents harness additional water for gardens and firefighting.
Sprinklers are an affordable, easy to install way to help protect homes. They not only soak the roof to cool down houses, but they drench the ground to extinguish embers.
Did you know that at least 85 per cent of houses are destroyed without experiencing direct exposure to flames or heat? Ember attack and low-level surface fire ignite the large majority of houses, and that's why sprinklers are so important in protecting your home.
Check your sprinkler systems regularly to make sure it's ready to go in an emergency.
Micro-grid and battery storage
With government help, solar panels and battery storage are installed on houses so residents can go off-grid if the main network goes down. But as back-up residents are also connected to the community microgrid which means neighbours can share electricity when the power goes out.
Disaster-proof your finances
A lower interest rate loan supports good, fire resilient design choices, and less risk leads to lower insurance premiums too. But you also have to check your insurance cover each year in case you need to rebuild after a fire.
Most insurance plans cover your home and contents in the event of bushfire. However, many home-owners are underinsured, meaning that they face an unexpected financial hit post-bushfire. It is important to regularly check your policy to make sure you are covered, and to update the value of your home and contents.
Grow a vege garden
Home grown vegetables and nutrient rich plants make for a great long term, sustainable food resource. Plus you’re less vulnerable to supply chain disruptions during emergencies (think pandemics!) when you grow your own food at home.
How can Australian towns survive and thrive?
Discover how communities can plan for and respond to climate change with Mt Resilience.Play Mt Resilience now