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Fire Safety for Timber Buildings and Floors

As all timber suppliers know, timber is a combustible material. The good points are that it is a good insulator, has minimal impact on the environment and burns in a consistent pattern. When safety regulations are followed, timber is still a very safe building material and can actually be beneficial in the event of a fire.

The Building Code of Australia (BCA) governs the use of timber in building and contains specific fire safety requirements for certain situations. We will cover two of them for this piece, with the bushfire section to be greatly expanded elsewhere on our blog in a piece called “How to Survive a Bushfire.”

Fire Hazard Properties

A fire hazard property is anything from class 2 to 9: in other words, anything that isn’t a home. The materials are covered under C1.10, which has ratings for the spread of flame index and the smoke development index. C1.10 does not cover floor, wall and ceiling linings and coverings. All other materials have to comply with C1.10.

Flooring materials must comply with C1.10 if they are the topmost layer, as in a hardwood floor, but don’t have to if they are covered with a carpet. Wall and ceiling linings have different specifications for different types of buildings.

Bushfire Prone Areas

If your home is assessed as being in a bushfire prone area, it falls under AS 3959. AS 3959 contains a number of different attack risk ratings that determine what materials you should use. The main issue is fire retardant treatment for timber. There are currently seven species of timber that has passed rigorous testing and has been determined to be safe without treatment.

Those timbers are: Turpentine, Spotted Gum, Silvertop Ash, Red River Gum, Red Ironbark, Merbau and Blackbutt.

Call Narangba Timbers

At Narangba Timbers, we specialise in world class customer service and we know fire safety. Call 1300 477 024.