Decking and the risk of Fire
Is your decking at risk of fire?
Living in Western Australia, fire safety is always pushed to the forefront of our minds, especially during the summer months. While it is part of nature, when fire destroys homes and lives, it becomes a huge problem.
This has probably left you wondering about your deck or your proposed deck when it comes to fire. Is it safe to have a deck?
Well, the best way to answer that is to educate yourself on fire safety and your homes bushfire attack level (BAL) rating.
How do you find out if you are in a bushfire prone area?
You can contact your local council to ask if your property is located in a bushfire prone area.
If it is, you will need a BAL assessment before any building can commence. In fact, a building permit will not be issued if a BAL assessment is required.
There are many companies in Perth writing BAL assessments – we have a very reliable associate whom we trust with our clients’ assessments.
What is the Australian Standard 3959?
The Australian Standards AS 3959 is a rating given to materials used in construction covering the bushfire safety requirements of building in a bushfire prone area.
What does this mean for your deck?
Whether you are in a bushfire prone area or in the middle of the city, you want your deck to be built in a material that is safe. Here are some suggestions:
1) Why not consider building a steel frame with an Australian Standards AS 3959 hardwood like Merbau on top?
2) Or a composite deck like NexGen’s aluminium DryDeck that has been approved for use in flame prone areas. The DryDeck is heavily fire resistant, as the boards never spark, catch or burn making them ideal for fire prone areas. Another benefit of NexGen DryDeck is that it is waterproof!
3) NexGen composite decking has been tested to adhere to Australian standards AS 1530.8.1-2007 in 2016 in a fire test that had a 60 minute duration at 250 degrees Celsius.
BEFORE you start to worry, find out if you are in a bushfire prone area. ALSO, use your common sense in general fire prevention:
1) Keep gutters and down pipes clean of debris
2) Trim trees and bushes close to your house
3) Keep debris (old car bodies, old furniture etc) away from your house
4) Have an evacuation plan
5) Avoid storing flammable liquids on your deck or having an open flame on your deck (an open fire)
Decking is a very worthwhile investment both for your homes’ value but also for your comfort and for the tranquillity it creates.
You can trust us when it comes to building your decking. We have the knowledge, the experience and we care. Castlegate Home Improvements will ensure fire safety is considered and will help you obtain your BAL assessment in bushfire prone areas.
Call us today 0438 411 978