With almost all of Australia already in fire season, homeowners are being reminded that weep holes in brick homes pose a risk, offering an open door for bushfire embers to enter and start a catastrophic fire. Embers can travel kilometres in front of the fire, igniting anything in their path.
This summer the forecast is for above normal fire risk in parts of Queensland, throughout most of rural New South Wales and Victoria. Homeowners are being urged to put their fire prevention plans into action.
With Australia’s national mean temperature above the long-term average for the year so far, and wetter than normal conditions through much of the country, there has been strong growth of fire fuel in grassland and bush areas, which when dried out will pose a fire threat throughout summer.
Weepa Technical Officer, Mitch Flint said while most residents know fire prevention is vital, some are not aware of all the risks.
“Most people know it’s important to check homes for potential fire hazards. Many people remove debris from around the yard and clear leaves out of gutters, but are unaware that they also need to be checking weep holes,” Mitch said.
“While weep holes are an important part of any brick home, allowing ventilation and acting as a drainage system for the internal wall cavities, they also create an easy entry point. Fire embers or pests such as snakes, mice and other creepy crawlies have easy access through them.
“Protecting weep holes is critical as sparks and embers must be prevented from entering the wall cavity and causing unseen ignition within the building.
“Fires can spread quickly when embers are distributed by the wind. Not only can they ignite debris around a dwelling, they can also be sucked in by updrafts through weep holes.
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While conditions differ throughout the country with much of the country experiencing a delayed start to the bushfire season, the message is still to be prepared.
According to the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC’s Southern Australia Seasonal Bushfire Outlook (August 2016) grasslands will pose a particular threat this season as there has been heavy growth over the winter.
In Queensland, while some inland regions have seen record rainfall, drought conditions remain in much of the state. The prediction is that while it is unlikely there will be an above-normal fire season, an active fire season is still likely, particularly in areas with underlying soil dryness.
In New South Wales, there has been a delayed start to the bushfire season because winter and spring rainfall was above average but with a more typical summer with high temperatures, the fire season is predicted to follow a normal season pattern.
The ACT also received above average rainfall this year, so there too, there are increased fuel loads in grasslands and also high-country forests but due to rainfall the fire risk is expected to remain low until mid-summer, unless there is an earlier than expected change to drier conditions.
In Victoria, in East Gippsland there is a mostly below-normal fire risk until mid-summer. However, in West and South Gippsland, and parts of the Central Highlands while there has been above average rainfall, there is a high probability of above average temperatures which will dry out the forested areas which could leave to rapidly escalating fire behaviour later in summer.
In Tasmania, the prediction is for normal bushfire potential, with the risk is expected to remain low until the New Year when conditions dry out.
In Western Australia, the bulk of the state has a normal fire risk, with above normal risk for the Western Gascoyne and Pilbara as the result of higher-than-average grass fuel loads in response to above-average soil moisture. There is also a higher than normal risk predicted for the Eucla area and the South West.
For more specific information about fire risk, please visit our website.
Weepa Protector Weep Hole Screens eliminate the ability of both fire embers and pests to enter your property and comply with the highest fire ratings.
Mitch said with research shows ember attack is one the key factors in the majority of houses destroyed by bushfire in Australia.
“The Weepa Protector Weep Hole Screen is a stainless steel screen that can be very simply installed by homeowners and it prevents fire embers and pests from getting in without blocking the air flow to the building.”
Established in the early 1990s, Weepa Products’ focus is on developing innovative, patented products to solve particular problems with weep holes.
Weepa’s commitment to research and industry consultation has seen it grow into a specialised dynamic company making an important contribution to ‘best practice’ in the building industry.
Weepa also supply weep hole formers and covers for installation during the building process to create highly functional and attractive weep holes in cavity brick walls and rendered panel.
For more information about Weepa Products and the Weepa Protector visit their website – www.weepa.com.au.
About Weepa Products
Weepa is an Australian owned family company founded in the early 90s.Weepa supply weep hole formers and covers to create highly functional and attractive weep holes in cavity brick walls and rendered panel.
Weepa supply weep hole formers and covers to create highly functional and attractive weep holes in cavity brick walls and rendered panel.Our Products guard against the entry of embers and vermin including insects, mice, cockroaches and snakes into the wall cavity.
Our Products guard against the entry of embers and vermin including insects, mice, cockroaches and snakes into the wall cavity.Our High Performance Bushfire Weepa can be used to meet your Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) compliance during construction.
Our High-Performance Bushfire Weepa can be used to meet your Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) compliance during construction. Our range is available in Australia and New Zealand through good building supply and hardware outlets. Find your nearest
Our range is available in Australia and New Zealand through good building supply and hardware outlets. Find your nearest Weepa stockist now.Our focus is on developing innovative patented products to solve particular problems with
Our focus is on developing innovative patented products to solve particular problems with weep holes. Our commitment to research and industry consultation has seen us grow into a specialised dynamic company making a growing contribution to ‘best practice’ in the building industry.For more information about the
For more information about the Weepa Protector Weep Hole Screen including technical specifications visit http://www.weepa.com.au/products/protector-weep-hole-screens/.