Posts by: Graeme Taylor

Home Bushfire Safety in Tasmania – Preparing your Home and Understanding your Risks

 

Fire Risk Consultants offer a Tasmania wide service where we come to your home and discuss your home’s bushfire safety. A well prepared and defended home can provide a safe haven during almost all bushfires. However, understanding your home and family’s specific bushfire risks and what you can do to reduce these risks each summer is essential to your home bushfire safety.

The Tasmania Fire Service (TFS) recommends that you should not plan to defend your home unless you have created a defendable space and ember-proofed you home. But how do you know how much vegetation you should clear for your defendable space and council planning requirements? and what does ember proofing your home mean?

Fire Risk Consultants property assessments look at your specific bushfire risks, how to make your home and family safer from bushfire and summarises the visit into an easy-to-understand report.

Fire Risk Consultants Senior Consultant Bushfire Risk & Tasmanian Projects Lead Rob Whittle said all our home property bushfire assessments are aligned with TFS guidelines and procedures. Each of our staff have on average 15 years operational experience in bushfire suppression and forest management roles. This means your property assessment and report will make your home safer for you and your family each summer. We make the reports easy for you to implement key recommendations.

“Fire Risk Consultants are heavily involved in on-ground vegetation management, fire trail and property access projects. We utilise tractor-mounted slashers, posi-track mulchers and forestry machines to implement recommendations from your report. This can include creating your defendable space around home, all complaint with State Government guidelines” he said.

Mr Whittle said we can also undertake Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) assessments. BAL Assessments are required for new homes being built, or existing homes being renovated as part of your local Council’s planning process. A BAL assessment measures a building’s potential exposure to bushfire including ember attack, radiant heat, and direct flame contact.

“Being based in Hobart allows us to offer our services statewide, we often are working in the north of the state, the east coast, and the Central Highlands. We can undertake your property assessment and then implement the key recommendations from your report, making the process of home bushfire safety easier and more manageable for you and your family” he said.

For more information about our Tasmanian services contact Rob on 0419 510 618 or rob@fireriskconsultants.com.au.

Fire Risk Consultants Expands into Tasmania

 

Fire Risk Consultants identified the need to increase Tasmania’s operational and strategic services in the bushfire risk reduction sector.

… Continue reading

Emerg Group at AFAC 2023

 

Fire Risk Consultants recently attended the AFAC Conference and Trade show at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre. We attended as a member of the EMERG alliance.

We enjoyed the opportunity to speak with hundreds of fire industry professionals and discuss how we could support their future needs.

For further information on the EMERG capabilities visit https://www.emerggroup.com.au/.

Increased safety inspections for NSW Solar Farms

 

A recent article has informed the Solar Farm industry that SafeWork NSW will increase their visits. These visits will include assessments of the sites emergency plans and ensuring that remote worker risks have been considered.

NSW solar farms to be subject to extensive safety checks

If your emergency management plan is out of date or needs a review, Fire Risk Consultants can assist by working with your team to develop an effective and practical emergency management plan.

Fire Risk Consultants have worked extensively with operators within the renewable energy industry to undertake bushfire risk assessments and the development of mitigation plans. For further infromation click here.

Battery Storage Facility Fire in Victoria, Australia

 

Recently a fire occurred in a battery facility south west of Melbourne on the outskirts of Geelong. As these types of fires are rare, there is no doubt that numerous investigations are underway to determine the cause and to identify any learnings that will mitigate this occurring again in the future.

The construction and operation of Battery Storage Facilities is increasing across Australia. There have been a number of announcements for new Battery Storage Facilities and this is expected to continue whilst Australia continues to transition away from coal fired power stations and the recognition that renewable energy installations require backup systems including Battery Storage Facilities.

As with all technology, the risk of fire should always be a strong consideration in the design and operation of these facilities. Fire agencies in some States have published guidance materials that provides information on the required spacing between the batteries and the external perimeter, water supplies for firefighting purposes, access and egress and emergency management planning.

Fire Risk Consultants have supported the industry with safe and effective bushfire safety designs for Battery Storage Facilities. We have expertise in assessing the risk from bushfire impact or the internal risk from a battery fire in line with the relevant State and agency requirements.

If you have any questions or need advice, don’t hesitate to call us to discuss your plans. Check out some news articles below:

https://news.cfa.vic.gov.au/firefighters-bring-large-battery-fire-near-geelong-under-control

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-07-30/fire-breaking-out-in-a-container-holding-tesla-battery/13477778

Fire Risk Consultants supporting the renewable energy market

 

The team at Fire Risk Consultants are heavily invested in the renewable energy sector providing support to wind and solar farm developers across Australia and Overseas. We have extensive experience in the assessment of bushfire risk, emergency management planning and fire mitigation planning relating to renewable energy proposals.

We can provide:

  • Sound knowledge of how fire can impact wind, solar and battery facilities.
  • Bushfire protection planning for your asset.
  • Liaising with the local fire authorities and other stakeholders to support the development.
  • Deliver bushfire risk mitigation measures to the development during the design, construction and operation.
  • Participation in community engagement activities on bushfire related matters.
  • Expert advice on all fire risk matters, including presenting at Planning Panels.

We have recently completed a major bushfire risk assessment for the proposed Delburn Wind Farm located in the Gippsland Region in Victoria, Australia. Check out our report at the below link.

https://osmi.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Delburn-Windfarm-Bushfire-Risk-Assessment-Plan-2020-FINAL.pdf

Fire Risk Consultants have expertise in assessing bushfire risk for renewable energy sites

Current Bushfires Across Australia

 

The team at Fire Risk Consultants work across Australia and have through our current and previous roles within fire agencies and other emergency service organisations met lots of amazing and passionate people. All of these people are actively working to support communities deal with the bushfires in all corners of Australia.

We extend our appreciation and support to the communities and emergency management professionals who are working together to keep people and properties safe from these bushfires.

Unfortunately, it is still early in the bushfire season in south-east Australia. We have many weeks ahead of dealing with bushfires. There is one key message that we give all of our clients, it is never too late to prepare. If you haven’t done your preparation yet, or need to do more, start now.

There is lots of information available from your local fire service on how to prepare for a bushfire. We encourage you to check it out now.

EMERG GROUP AT AFAC 2019

 

Fire Risk Consultants recently attended the AFAC Conference and Trade show at the Melbourne Convention Centre. We attended as a member of the the EMERG alliance.

We enjoyed the opportunity to speak with hundreds of fire industry professionals and discuss how we could support their future needs.

For further information on the EMERG capabilities visit https://www.emerggroup.com.au/.

BMS v’s BAL

 

We often receive calls and emails from people seeking clarification about what type of report they need to satisfy Council or a Building Surveyor. We understand that the process of satisfying the bushfire safety requirements can sometimes be challenging.

Regardless of the process, Fire Risk Consultants are able to work with you to determine the most appropriate report and to then undertake the assessment. The outcome will be in the format that is required to satisfy the regulatory process.

So what is a Bushfire Management Statement?

It is a report required by the Bushfire Management Overlay. Properties that are within close proximity (usually 150 metres) to treed vegetation can find themselves within the Bushfire Management Overlay. The best way to find out is to visit https://mapshare.vic.gov.au/vicplan/ and search for your property. Print out a property report and it will tell you if you are within the Bushfire Management Overlay.

What is a BAL assessment?

A Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) Assessment is required when a property is within a Bushfire Prone Area. The actual assessments are very similar however the Bushfire Management Overlay requires more treatments to be implemented. A BAL assessment identifies the construction level to offset the impacts of a bushfire.

Fire Risk Consultants are experts in determining the most appropriate method of assessing your bushfire risk as well as completing the required reports to enable you to finalise your building plans.

Major Bushfire Risk Reduction Project in Bendigo

 

Several of the Fire Risk Consultants team have been based in Bendigo, Victoria over the last few weeks conducting important bushfire mitigation works. These works have included:
1. Upgrading of fire access tracks
2. Building Asset Protection Zones next to homes
3. The installation of road and track signage

Key partners in this work have included the Country Fire Authority (CFA), Forest Fire Management Victoria (FFMVic) and the City of Greater Bendigo. With another tough fire season forecast these works are vitally important to help protect Bendigo residents from Bushfire.