Fire Safety Print E-mail
Fire safety should be a paramount consideration when selecting building materials. Although it is a combustible material, timber is a good insulator and burns in a predictable fashion. These attributes make timber beneficial in a fire event and permit durable and fire-safe timber construction.

The Building Code of Australia (BCA), contains the regulations which govern the use of construction materials in all forms of building - and specifies different fire performance requirements in different situations. These situations fall under four key areas:

Fire Hazard Properties (Specification C1.10 and C1.10a)

The Building Code of Australia (BCA) regulates materials that are used in construction of Class 2 to 9 buildings (not single family homes). These are stipulated by "Specification C1.10".

In addition, the BCA regulates materials that are used for floor, wall and ceiling coverings separately in Class 2 to 9 buildings (not single family homes). These are stipulated by "Specification C1.10a".

The term that is used is Fire Hazard Properties and the reference clause in the BCA is "C1.10 Fire Hazard Properties". More...

Fire Resistance Levels

When wood is exposed to high temperatures it will decompose to provide an insulating layer of char that retards further degradation of the wood. The rate of char is initially fast but as the char increases it slows as this insulating layer grows.

This behaviour is used to predict timber char rates for large cross-section timber. More...

Related Topics

Fire Safety in Multi-Residential Timber Frame Construction (MRTFC)

In the early 1990's, the timber industry gained approval within the deemed-to-satisfy requirements in the BCA for the construction of low-rise, fire protected, timber-framed residential buildings.

These building use fire grade linings to compartmentalise units within these building so that in the event of a fire the occupants may escape.


Timber in Bushfire Prone Areas

Australia with its eucalyptus trees and harsh dry climate is prone to severe bushfires. Given the desire of Australians to live near or in the bush, this means that Australia experiences the occasional catastrophic bushfire which destroys property and houses.

In response to this, building regulators have imposed building regulations that vary throughout Australia.