Bushfire standard inadequate

Ferm Engineering CEO Steve Burton has been invited to participate in a panel session at a Qld Association of Fire Investigators Inc seminar on fire investigations and emerging issues.

Steve will explain how the Australian Standard AS 3959 for construction of buildings in bushfire-prone areas is inadequate and he will advocate for implementing the 2012 AS 5414 bushfire water spray systems standard, which has not been adopted by the Australian Building and Construction Board.

“In the latest bushfire season, there were many failures and we need to learn the lessons and review the data,” Steve said. “Even buildings that met AS 3959 were destroyed. Factors like the amount of vegetation and the impact of global warming need to be factored into modern building standards.”

He says installing sprinklers is a positive pathway to risk reduction. “Ferm Engineering’s research shows there’s international evidence that homes with even ad hoc sprinkler spray systems have a high rate of success in surviving bushfires, compared to adjoining buildings without.”

He hopes AS 5414 compliant sprinklers for the exterior of particularly fire-prone buildings will be among recommendations from the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements.

Steve will also talk about water security. He says infrastructure needs investment to ensure it is adequate not just for domestic consumption but sized and delivered for fire safety. “Fire safety should be the top priority as communities rely on the communal supply.”

Steve’s fellow panellists, loss adjusters Mark Mellor, from Crawford & Co, and Phil Marshall, from Sedgwick, will focus on the insurable risk of fire-prone properties, post-fire investigations and claims management.

Fire investigation case studies and emerging issues
Thursday 8 October 2020
Broncos Leagues Club, 98 Fulcher Rd, Red Hill, Brisbane
Register from 8.30am, seminar 9am-5pm
To register for the seminar, click here.