If you live in a bushfire prone area then bushfire ember guards are one of the most important additions you can make to a property, in most cases it’s embers that result in a home being lost during a bushfire.
It is important to note that ember guards are not gutter guards and gutter guards are not ember guards. They are two different products that are both covered by separate requirements in the Australian Standards AS 3959.
Ember guards are fitted to block embers from entering the roof space and other gaps in the home, they are also used to protect weak points of the home like evaporative air conditioners etc.
Gutter guards are installed to stop leaf build up in gutters and roof valleys. For more information on gutter guards please click this gutter guard link.
Both are very important products when living in a bushfire prone area, however they are two separate products that as mentioned before, are covered by separate requirements in the Australian Standards AS 3959.
Please be aware of the distinction of the two products. Within this site we talk about ember guards.
The Australian Standards AS 3959, states the mesh used for ember guards must be made from either corrosive resistant steel, bronze or aluminium. The aperture of the mesh, which is the size of the holes, must be no greater than 2mm.
When it comes to ember protection, areas like evaporative air conditioners are of particular concern. Embers can ignite the air conditioning pads, with the air conditioner collapsing into the roof space of the home. The picture to the top right is an all to common example of what can easily happen. Your home could be 100’s of meters away from a fire and embers are still a major issue.
Evaporative air conditions are only one area that needs to be protected with ember guards, any gap leading into the roof space or areas of the home like air vents need to have screens to protect against embers.
There has been a noticeable increase in the size and frequency of large, damaging bushfires, with large scale home losses from bushfires now a common occurrence over summer. Many of these home losses do not need to occur, fitting ember guards to your home can drastically increase the chance of your home surviving a bushfire with minimal expense. You don’t need flames to lose your home!
The type of mesh used in ember guards are covered in the Australian Standards AS 3959 for building in bushfire prone areas, so installing ember guards isn’t quite as simple as going down to your local hardware store. The ember guard mesh should follow certain criteria set by Australian Standards in AS 3959.
For more information on ember guards simply click the link.
For further information on the Australian Standards 3959, which covers all aspects of building in a bushfire prone area, please visit this dedicated site on the Australian Standards AS 3959