How To Protect Your House From An Ember Attack

How To Protect Your House From An Ember Attack

How To Protect Your House From An Ember Attack

Proofing Your Gutters In Bushfire
Across Australia, bushfires have become a grave threat. However, the surprising fact is that the bushfire is not a direct threat to your house.

More than 85% of houses that become victims of bushfires do not directly come in contact with the fire but the embers that are windborne. This ember attack can burn your house down to debris, as it can not only set fire to other fuel sources near you but also cause an internal house fire due to the infiltration of embers through gaps that are as small as 3mm.

To prevent this, you need to be prepared for protection against an ember attack.

An Ember Attack
Ember attack is caused when there is flameless combustion. The burning remains of a fire scatter around outside or inside the house which then causes a fire. This debris can set alight various external sources, such as leaves in the gutters, or it can cause fire internally.

This is the reason why the Australian Standard (AS3959–2009) in construction that deals with bushfires have incorporated measures to handle ember attacks as well.

An Ember Guard
Ember guards are perforated or mesh sheets with a hole size/aperture of not more than 2mm. These sheets should be made from materials that are non-combustible to further qualify as ember guards. Your BAL (Bushfire Attack Level) tells you the level of risk you are at and the materials you should use. Gutter Guard King’s 2mm aluminum gutter mesh is a good option for an ember guard compliant mesh.

Gutter Guards
The problem at hand is that even though ember guards can help protect your house against ember attacks, they don’t really discuss the threat of external fires as a result of an ember attack. This is why an alternative at hand is using gutter guard-compliant gutter mesh. This not only prevents issues such as leaves clogging in the gutters but also decreases the number of sources through which external fires can ignite.

You are recommended to use an ember guard which complies with gutter mesh because it protects your gutters from embers and decreases the risk of external fires. You should use a gutter mesh that is non-combustible. This will ensure that it is a good pick for areas with a higher risk of bushfires.

Defense For Bushfire-Prone Areas
Even though no requirement guarantees that your house will withstand an ember attack, the mentioned measures do prepare your house for such an instance. The Australian Standard is applicable for new houses in bushfire-prone areas, but can also be used for old houses in such areas.

Everything You Need To Know About Ember Guards

Everything You Need To Know About Ember Guards

Everything You Need To Know About Ember Guards

Everything You Need To Know About Ember Guards
In order to make sure that your house is in a better position to handle the bushfire attack and its effects, there are multiple requirements for construction as per the standard, which depends on the level of bushfire risk in the area. The more your area is at the risk of a bushfire attack, the direr it is that you meet these requirements. One thing that is common to all lists of requirements in bushfire-prone areas is installing an ember mesh guard.

An ember guard is known as “a cover inserted in or over an opening or cavity to prevent the entry of burning embers” as defined by AS3959–2009.

Composition of an Ember Guard
Ember guards should have a hole size no bigger than 2mm and made up of a perforated or a mesh. In addition to this, they should be made from materials that are non-combustible. Your BAL (Bushfire Attack Level) tells you the level of risk you’re at, and hence the materials you should use.
If the BAL of your residential area is 12.5, 19, or 29, you can get ember guards made up of bronze, aluminum, or corrosion-resistant steel. However, you will be required to make an ember guard of bronze or corrosion-resistant steel with a BAL of 40 or FZ.

Importance of Ember Guards
More than eighty-five percent of houses that become victims of bushfires do not catch fire by coming into contact with the bushfire directly, but due to the embers that are windborne. This attack caused by the embers can be fatal to your house, as it can not only set fire to other fuel sources near you but also cause an internal house fire via embers that get through the house by gaps that are 3mm small.

This threat of burning your house due to such embers can be easily prevented by installing ember guards.

The Need For Ember Guards
You might need to place ember guards in different places of your house depending upon what your BAL rating is. Here are those places mentioned along with information on whether a mesh guard is required there or not (as per AS3959-2009):

Openings in Roof Ventilation: From BAL 12.5-FZ, all houses are required to have amber guards in the openings
3mm+ Gaps in Sheet Roofs: From BAL 12.5-40, all houses are required to get an ember guard on the wall line as well as the hips, valleys, and ridges of the sheet roof. For BAL FZ however, such gaps must be filled and sealed properly with other materials.

Roof ventilator, vent pipe, and vented roof light openings: An ember guard is required for BAL 12.5-40 areas while the openings need to be properly sealed with other materials in BAL FZ areas.

Evaporative cooling units: Ember guards required in BAL 12.5-29 areas and not applicable in BAL 40 and FZ areas.
3mm+ openings in eaves ventilation: Ember guards required in BAL 12.5-40 areas while proper sealants to be used in BAL FZ areas.

Roof light glazing pitch < 18 degrees to horizontal: BAL 12.5 and 19 areas do not require ember guards here. However, BAL 29 and 40 do. As far as BAL FZ areas are concerned, the roof lights do not need ember guards but are required to comply with other conditions.

Gutter Guard King Ember Guard Gutter Mesh
Gutter Guard King’s 2mm gutter mesh in aluminum is compliant with the ember guard standards. It can conveniently be installed as ember guards in order to meet the AS3959-2009 requirement when building new homes in areas rated BAL (12.5 – FZ).

Ember Guard And Australian Standards (AS3959-2009)

Ember Guard And Australian Standards (AS3959-2009)

Ember Guard And Australian Standards (AS3959-2009)

Ember Guard And Australian Standards (AS3959-2009)
Following the tragic Victorian “Black Saturday” bushfires during 2009, the Australian Standard for the way buildings should be constructed had been upgraded, especially in areas that are prone to bushfires. These new rules were introduced in the AS3959-2009, which were designed to reduce the risk of your home possibly catching fire. The new standards highlight construction details for new homes and buildings in areas where there is a bushfire attack level of 12.5 or above. Even though these measures do not fully guarantee protection against bushfires, they are still effective enough to prevent major damages.

What Is An Ember Attack?

AS3959-2009 was introduced and specifically tailored to protect homes from ember attacks. These take place when bark fragments, burning twigs, and windborne debris travel towards the fire igniting your house as they begin burning the fuel and vegetation surrounding it, or get pulled inside. 85% of bushfires that cause major damages result from ember attacks. Hence, to further strengthen and prevent your house from risks of Ember attacks, Gutter Guard King’ ember mesh and compliance with AS3959-2009 is a suitable solution.

What Does An Ember Guard Do?

Ember guard serves as a covering that is installed either inside or on top of an opening in your house as a shield from the attacks by blocking the entry of burning embers. Ember guards are made from several different materials, such as metal mesh with an opening of 2mm. Gutter Guard King’s 2mm gutter mesh acts as a compliant of ember guard, thus can be used in prescribed locations surrounding your house, assisting you to meet the requirements of AS3959-2009.

How To Use Ember Guard Compliant Mesh?

An ember guard compliant mesh can be used in a variety of ways to match the criteria of AS3959-2009. For homes between BAL 12.5 to BAL 29, the ember guard compliant mesh is required to be manufactured from either aluminum, bronze, or steel that’s corrosion-resistant.
In accordance with Australian Standards, the construction of new buildings in bushfire areas does not mandate equipping gutter mesh or gutter guards on new houses. Although, if you plan on installing or have installed gutter mesh in a new house located in a bushfire area, AS3959-2009 specifies that it should be produced from non-combustible materials. Gutter Guard King suggests the installation of a 2mm aluminum gutter mesh if your house is situated in a bushfire zone. Considering the fact that it’s non-combustible and small-sized to block out any embers, it should majorly prevent flammable debris such as leaves from entering your home, aiding protection against ember attacks.

Protect Your Home

No operation can guarantee the complete safety and protection of your home from the danger of ember attacks, however, by making use of ember guards as well as following the criteria of AS3959-2009, you can maximize the chances of your home’s survival!