Outdoor Living

Bushfire protection with steel fencing

colorbond fence

Whether you live, or are planning to build in a bushfire prone area, or simply want to increase the bushfire protection afforded to your home, COLORBOND® steel may help protect your property.

The potential for residential fencing systems to act as a barrier against radiant heat, burning debris and flame impingement during bushfire is of the utmost importance to those whose homes rest in bushfire-prone regions.

The Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre (Bushfire CRC) (with BlueScope Steel Limited and CSIRO Bushfire Research) set up a project to research and investigate the performance of residential boundary fencing systems through small and full-scale experiments (the Project).

The CSIRO’s research and investigation into the performance of residential boundary fencing in bushfires conducted as part of the Project found that steel fencing offered greater protection to people’s homes in bushfires than a number of other alternative materials.

Of the different materials tested, pre-painted and metallic coated sheet steel (in this case made from COLORBOND® steel) performed best under all exposure conditions and in particular when faced with a 30 minute flame immersion test used to simulate potential effects of an adjacent house fire, which is common during bushfire events.

Experiments conducted by the Bushfire CRC as part of the Project found that COLORBOND® steel had the best performance in a fire out of the materials tested.

The Bushfire CRC’s report on the Project found that COLORBOND® steel “maintained structural integrity as a heat barrier under all experimental exposure conditions, and it did not spread flame laterally or contribute to fire intensity during exposure.”

“The fencing reduced radiation levels within the fencing boundary to below 5kW/m2 immediately behind the fencing system during all radiation exposures, and reduced the radiant heat exposure on a structure nine metres from the fencing by at least a factor of two for the given fire size in the experiment” the Bushfire CRC also found.

So, choose a fence made from COLORBOND® steel


CSIRO, 2006, Research and Investigation into the performance of Residential Boundary Fencing Systems in Bushfires, CMIT-2006-186, Victoria (“CSIRO Report”) Bushfire CRC, 2010, Fire Note Residential Boundary Fences in Bushfires: How do they perform?, Issue 70, Victoria The Project was commissioned by BlueScope Steel Limited, and the CSIRO Report was written in collaboration with BlueScope Steel Limited.

COLORBOND®, BlueScope, the BlueScope brand mark are registered trademarks of BlueScope Limited. © 2018 BlueScope Limited ABN 16 000 011 058. All rights reserved.

This story was published in The Fence magazine.