building & design tips

Take inspiration, tips and advice from our specialist design and building team

Your Guide to Building in a Bushfire Zone

Firefighters in a fire protection suit wearing firefighter helmet with breathing device and holding fire hose is extinguishing a burning house fire that is putting off excessive heat and smoke.  Fire could have been caused by accident or arson.  Second firefighter in background.

Following what has been dubbed “Black Summer” in 2019 to 2020, it’s natural to be concerned about building in a bushfire zone. Australian bushfires are infamous for being catastrophic, widespread, and hard to contain. It’s a major concern for all Australians.

With this in mind, it’s essential to have a bushfire plan and a bushfire resistant home design to minimise the risk of fire damage. Before building on bushfire prone land, there are a few things you’ll need to consider to increase the strength and durability of your home in a bushfire.

Read on. Montgomery Homes is one of the only NSW home builders who will build in all six bushfire zones and with more than 30 years experience, we know how to build tough, fire resistant homes throughout New South Wales. We can help build a home that’s made to last.

How to check if I'm in a bushfire zone in NSW

Before purchasing a block of land or starting a new home build, it’s important to find out whether or not it’s bushfire prone land.

During the planning process, we can find this information on your behalf, but it’s also possible to get an idea of the fire danger in the area via the New South Wales Rural Fire Service (RFS).

The RFS has an interactive map on their website showing bushfire zones around the state. All you have to do is search the postcode and the RFS will determine whether it’s bushfire prone land.

However, it’s important to note this tool is not 100% accurate - it’s based on council bushfire maps and this can change all the time, depending on the season and possible drought conditions.

How to navigate bushfire zones and development approvals

New home developments on bushfire prone land must meet the requirements of the RFS Planning for Bushfire Protection (PBP) framework.

Under section 100B of the Rural Fires Act 1997, a bushfire safety authority must also be obtained from the NSW Rural Fire Service for subdivision and special fire protection developments on bushfire prone land.

It might sound complicated but here at Montgomery Homes, we are fully equipped with the knowledge to ensure your new home build meets the necessary compliance requirements.

Thanks to our smart home designs and fire resilient building materials, we are capable of building in areas with a low bushfire attack level (BAL) through to riskier areas called “flame zones”.

We are one of the only NSW project home builders who can build in all six BAL zones:

  • BAL-LOW – very low risk
  • BAL-12.5 – low risk
  • BAL-19 – moderate risk
  • BAL-29 – high risk
  • BAL-40 – very high risk
  • BAL-FZ – extreme risk (flame zone)

You can feel safe and rest assured with Montgomery Homes. We have decades of experience building architectural homes in bushfire prone areas. We’ll take care of development approvals for you.

How we'll keep you (and your home) safe during bushfire season

We’re committed to the health and safety of our clients, so we take every precaution to ensure our home designs are at minimal risk of damage during the bushfire season.

During the building process, we will ensure the following safety precautions are put in place:

  • Gas lines are installed underground to minimise the risk of explosion
  • Position the house and windows accordingly to reduce bushfire construction requirements
  • Install metal fly screens on windows and sliding doors
  • Install spark arresting vent holes under the house to stop embers from entering the home from below
  • Install spark arresting weep holes to allow water to escape
  • Use thicker glass on all windows to reduce the risk of smashing and explosions in flame zones
  • Install G-Tech render board under the roofing material and eaves to protect your home in a flame zone
  • Seal the garage doors to stop embers from entering the house between the door and the brickwork.

These techniques and special flame-resistant materials will increase the strength and durability of your home in the event of a bushfire. For more information on our building techniques and precautions, please get in touch with our team today.

Finally, follow the RFS 4-step fire plan

While we can help build a strong, fire resistant home, you will still need to be prepared and alert during the bushfire season. This is essential for keeping you and your family safe.

The RFS has highlighted four simple steps for keeping safe on bushfire prone land. The four steps are as follows:

  1. DISCUSS what to do if a bushfire threatens your home. Create a fire plan and consider if and when to evacuate, what you will do with your pets, what the best escape route will be, and where your family will stay in bushfire conditions.
     
  2. PREPARE your home ahead of time for bushfire season. This might include cleaning out the gutters, sweeping possible tinder like dried leaves, and leaving hoses out for instant use. You might also prepare or review your home insurance to make sure you’re protected.
     
  3. KNOW the bushfire alert levels. These can be seen on bushfire threat signs, online, and via NSW Incident Alerts on Facebook. The RFS will also send out text messages if evacuation is required.
     
  4. KEEP all bushfire and emergency numbers at the ready, download the RFS smartphone app, and keep up to date with NSW Incident Alerts on Facebook. 

Make sure to download the RFS fire survival plan

Building in a bushfire zone doesn't need to be stressful or complicated. We're here to help.

The concept of building in a bushfire prone area can be a concern for new homeowners. However, it doesn’t need to be challenging, complicated, or stressful. At Montgomery Homes, we have decades of experience building in high risk areas and we have developed effective home building methods to keep you safe during bushfire season.

As one of the only project home builders who can build in all BAL areas, you can rest assured knowing your home build is in good hands.

We’d be more than happy to give you some peace of mind about your new home build. If you have any questions whatsoever, make sure to get in touch with our friendly and accommodating team in SydneyNewcastle, or the Central Coast.

Similar Blogs

All Articles
  • All Articles
  • Acreage
  • Blog
  • Building Process
  • Featured
  • Finance Tips
  • Home Designs
  • Inspiration Gallery Blog
  • Interior Design
  • News & Events
  • Selections Gallery
  • Selections Gallery Blog
  • Shaynna Blaze
  • Styling & Inspiration
  • Sustainable Living
Shaynna Blaze

Shaynna Blaze Reveals New Interior Design Schemes

Our brand ambassador, Shaynna Blaze has created four stunning interior design schemes! Shaynna’s Modernist Expression design will be introduced in one of our display homes later this year - so get a sneak peek now and see how you could adapt these themes into your upcoming design.
Read in full
Newcastle-beaches-building-home

Your Complete Guide To Building In Newcastle

Looking for a fresh start in Newcastle? We’ve created the ultimate guide for building in Newcastle, from statistics to building options and designs. Learn more.
Read in full
home-builder-questions-answers

Helpful Questions To Ask A Builder

Building your first home can be bewildering. To make things simple and stress-free, we’ve created a list of helpful questions to ask a builder. Read on.
Read in full

How To Compare Home Builders

Choosing a builder for your new home can be tough. In this blog, we share seven steps to help you compare home builders and make your dream home a reality.
Read in full

7 Steps to Building a Granny Flat

Want a little extra space or privacy in your new home? With Montgomery Homes, you now have the option to add a granny flat to your backyard, creating additional room for visitors who want to stay overnight, teenagers who need their own space, or even a small area for older relatives like Nan and Pop to live.
Read in full

8 First Home Buyer Tips to Make the Process Simple and Stress-free

Becoming a homeowner for the first time is life changing - this could be your forever home! It’s one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make, and a valuable one at that. As a first time homeowner, the home building (or buying) process can be a little overwhelming. There are so many options to choose from - you can buy a pre-existing home or you can build a fresh home that's customised to you; you can compare home loans and rates, or consider a guarantor…
Read in full

What is a Dropped Edge Beam and Why Do I Need One?

When building a brand new home, it’s possible to get lost in all the building jargon. While we do our best to make the process simple to follow and understand, it can be helpful to learn certain phrases and building techniques so you have a better understanding of what’s happening with your new home build.
Read in full

Your Guide to Building in a Bushfire Zone

Following what has been dubbed “Black Summer” in 2019 to 2020, it’s natural to be concerned about building in a bushfire zone. Australian bushfires are infamous for being catastrophic, widespread, and hard to contain. It’s a major concern for all Australians.
Read in full

How to Make a Sloping Block Work For You

There are lots of advantages to building on a sloping block. For example, you’ll have incredible views of the neighbourhood on one side of the house, the kids will love rolling down the grassy hill in the front or backyard, and the interior of the house will have a unique, light-filled and spacious design.
Read in full

Join our newsletter to receive our latest promotions,
news and helpful building and design tips