Best Practice Design for Building in Bushfire Prone Areas in Victoria

This Guide will show you how to improve the bushfire resilience of your home and garden. Managing bushfire risk is essential for all Australians living in bushfire prone areas.

About this Guide

The Bushfire Best Practice Guide offers a range of advice on building and retrofitting for bushfire protection. The Guide describes the relationship between bushfire risk management and residential building and landscape design.

The Guide will help you:

  • understand that bushfires are a natural part of the Australian landscape
  • understand how bushfires interact with homes and gardens
  • use principles of design to reduce bushfire risks (including injury and the loss of life)
  • improve upon existing bushfire regulatory controls
  • build or retrofit a house or garden.

It can be difficult to navigate the many building and planning regulations which show Victorians how to improve the design of their homes to withstand the dangers of bushfire. This Guide consolidates existing advice and provides tailored, site-specific solutions for a range of requirements.

Remember, whether you choose to follow this Guide, it is necessary to comply with all building and urban planning regulations at your address and to follow the advice of local fire authorities.

Who is this Guide for?

The Bushfire Best Practice Guide has been designed for Victorians, but it can be used by homeowners in other Australian states and territories. If you live in a bushfire prone area, are concerned about the risk of bushfire, or you design homes and gardens in bushfire prone areas, then this Bushfire Best Practice Guide is for you.

How to use this Guide

The Bushfire Best Practice Guide is divided into seven sections. Because bushfire risk is complex, we recommend reading the information in all seven sections to get the most complete picture. Start with Bushfire basics and move on from there.

Other resources

Other useful information about living and building in bushfire prone areas can be found at the following links:

Bushfire resilient building for Queensland home (complementary guide for Queensland)


The Bushfire Best Practice Guide was funded by CSIRO and the Natural Disaster Resilience Grants Scheme (NDRGS). It was developed in collaboration with the University of Melbourne and the Country Fire Authority (CFA).

The Bushfire Best Practice Guide was written and developed by Garth Warren1, Justin Leonard1, Kimberley Opie1, Raphaele Blanchi1, Alan March2, Ben Ollington2, and Mark Holland3. Illustrations by Sam Thompson and James Davidson Architect. Additional thanks to William Swedosh1, Ondine Le Fur1, Sally Tetreault-Campbell 1, and Steve Gartner1.

2 University of Melbourne
3 Country Fire Authority