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(02) 4577 4912


Unit 1, No.103 Railway Road (North) MULGRAVE NSW 2756

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Proud Members of the
Master Builders Association of  NSW since 1968

Bushfire Protected Designed Homes

O'Mara Constructions has extensive experience designing & building new homes in high bushfire prone area's. Having lived in Hawkesbury all of our lives and with many of our sub-contractors we have experienced many bushfire's and seen the extent of fire on newly constructed homes & existing dwellings.

As per AS3959 which is the Australian Standard for Construction of buildings in bushfire prone areas there are six categories of bushfire attack levels. They are;

  • LOW
  • BAL 12.5
  • BAL 19
  • BAL 29
  • BAL 40

BAL simply means "Bushfire attack level"

Flame zone is the highest level of attack and is usually when a site backs directly onto this bush, surrounded by bushland or at the top of a steep embankment. The BAL rating can be classified by self assessment or by a fire consultant but needs to be approved by council after consultation with the RFS (Rural Fire Service)

The categories of attack are determined by:  

  1. The type of vegetation
  2. How close your building is to the vegetation
  3. What the effective slope is (i.e. fire runs more readily and with greater intensity uphill)
  4. The Fire Danger Index applicable to the region


New deck at Mount Wilson in high bushfire prone area

New deck using fire retardant treated timber

New deck using steel Duragal joists, hardwood & water tanks for bushfire protection

Mt Wilson completed 2008

Homes that are designed in bushfire prone area's need special consideration in design of certain construction elements. The main considerations are for the following items;

  • floor framing (stumps, bearers & joists)
  • flooring sheeting & decking
  • sub-floor area enclosure
  • verandah posts & beams
  • windows & fly screens
  • water & gas pipes
  • water tank design & location
  • water pump & fire pump design & location 
  • gas bottle location
  • fire bunker design
  • external doors & garage doors
  • fascia & eave cladding
  • gutter & downpipes
  • roofing materials
  • roof penetrations & vents
  • balustrade & handrails
  • roof access
  • roof design
  • valuables safe for fire
  • roof penetrations

There are numerous "passive" controls methods of protecting the home from bushfire. Each project needs to be evaluated on a case by case basis but can include any or a combination of the following items to provide protection;

  • overall house bushfire design
  • brickwork & blockwork
  • external cladding
  • compressed fibro
  • fire retardant treated timber
  • wire mesh screens
  • fire shutters
  • window glass selection
  • seals to windows, external doors
  • garage door design
  • gutterguard
  • roof access
  • signage
  • Assest Protection Zones
  • landscaping
  • pump location
  • tank location

Other considerations need to be made for specific "active" control methods, such as;

  • water tanks, swimming pools, dams, wells, rivers
  • pumps
  • storz valves
  • hose reels
  • hydrants
  • sprinkler systems
  • driveway construction & access roads
  • gutterguard

We also need to consider the materials used, the location of services, access to site, maintenance, just to name a few.We can design & construct a fire bunker. This is NOT design as a safe haven but more as a last option when escape is not possible

We can design & construct a fire sprinkler system with back-up hose reels supplied by a pool/tank/dam to protect the home to suit the site conditions and owner requirements More information can be found at the NSW rural fire service website;


Gunderman home in bushfire prone area

New home near Wisemans Ferry in bushfire zone

Home with water tanks, metal cladding, gutterguard, rear deck

New deck using fire retardant treated timber


We have current designs of homes that although can't guarantee complete bushfire protection they can at least be adapted to minimise all possible risks and increase the safety of the owner and their possessions to suit the conditions on site. All our design will need to be viewed and approved by the RFS priory to any approval be ing granted by council or any work commencing on-site

Stone entry steps in new Blue Mountains home

New house built in
high risk bushfire area
in Wismeans Ferry

Blue Mountains New Home

Rendered & Colorbond new home
Blue Mountains Country Home
Mt Wilson completed 2008