Whirlybird and bushfire these three words should never be used together, why is that you say? Well, let’s start with the BCA (the Building Code of Australia) AS3959-2009 the building code for bushfire areas states that external openings for roof ventilators must be sealed with a mesh with maximum perforations of 2mil and be made of non-combustible corrosion resistant steel or bronze.
SO WHAT’S WRONG WITH WHIRLYBIRDS IN A BUSHFIRE AREA
The entrance of a whirlybird is not sealed at all, it has gaps of at least 45mil in numerous places and placing a so called ember guard in the bottom of a whirlybird just doesn’t cut the mustard – imagine just placing a loose ember guard in the bottom of a whirlybird you do the equations - under ember attack, 40°C plus days roofspace in excess of 80°C whirlybird full of embers – time bomb.
So there you have it they do not comply with the Australian Standard AS3959-2009 the Building Code for bushfire areas their openings far exceed the mandated 2mil perforations for external openings.
In the Canberra Bushfires of 2003 whirlybirds were literally sucked out of roofs like a piece of tissue paper. It beggars belief that one of Australia’s largest companies would come up with such an unscrupulous way of trying to get around the Building Code of Australia, for bushfire areas, when they simply know that whirlybirds do not really comply with bushfire standard AS3959-2009, all in the name of profit I guess.
Having whirlybirds in a bushfire ember attack area is simply playing Russian roulette with a full magazine so if you are thinking of using whirlybirds in a bushfire attack area think again! – why not use what the NSW Bushfire Brigade use on their bushfire stations that house their firefighting engines on the South Coast of NSW.
A ventilator that is aerodynamically designed so as not to collect any debris, that is non-combustible and with perforations at the external mesh opening of 1.7mm far exceeds the BCA for ember attack areas, the Smoothline® Roof Ventilator System by Universal Tile Ventilators and not only that the system works very well to cool your home in summer and keep your roofspace dry from condensation and/or humidity moisture all year round.