Open spaces can enhance the bushfire resilience of your home. Ideally, you should create an open space in the area around the house and other buildings. These spaces will provide a safe area for egress during a bushfire and will make it easier to spot and extinguish embers and other small ignitions. Open spaces include lawns, ovals, paddocks of cut or grazed grasses, cleared or fallowed paddocks, paved and gravelled areas, driveways, pathways and parking areas. Regardless of type and origin, open spaces can be of great value if you are building in a bushfire prone area. As well as providing a fire break, open spaces can provide a relatively safe location to fight and monitor nearby fires.
- If possible, create open spaces in the area immediately surrounding the house and fixed structures. Prioritise areas between the home and the direction of the bushfire hazard.
- Consider covering part of the open space with a non-combustible surfaces, such as stone pavers, concrete, hardpacked earth, or compressed gravel. prioritise the areas adjacent to access ways, buildings, an other combustible features.
- If using lawn, keep the vegetation short, well irrigated, and clear of combustible elements (such as garden waste and combustible mulches).
- Break up large areas of lawn or grasses using non-combustible surfaces or pathways.
- As much as possible, keep open spaces clear of trip hazards and large amounts of combustible material.
- Avoid using combustible garden edging to separate or bound smaller open spaces or open spaces closer to the home.
Gravel and other non-combustible surfaces can be suitable for open spaces, although be mindful of slips and fall