Are you building an office block in a fire-prone area? Developing a property on an urban/wild interface that includes wild indigenous vegetation? If you’re looking at creating a corporate garden or landscaped space, it’s worth considering firescaping – the practice of including fire-safe measure in your garden to reduce the risk of a fire.
Commercial landscaping that takes into account firescaping focuses on ways to reduce the probability of fire catching and spreading through the firescaped area. As a general rule, this area is the 10 meters surrounding a building though this can change depending on the landscape, vegetation, and slope of the property. Creating a fire-resistant space involves modifying the landscape and garden layout, taking into account the materials used to develop the space, and making careful plant selection – all with the aim of making a fire less likely to start or spread.
Ways to firescape your landscape
1. Clean up
Regular garden maintenance is a must for maintaining a healthy and beautiful outdoor space. And it is even more important in a fire prone zone. Conduct regular landscape checks, removing dead and decaying wood and branches, and clearing away all potentially hazardous materials from around the bases of trees. Be sure to prune overhanging branches, away buildings or chimneys.
2. Don’t provide the spark
Remove all flammable plants from the area and avoid planting invasive plants such as wattle, pine, and gum, as well as exotics such as bottle brushes, melaleucas, and conifers, as they are fire prone and will burn for a longer time than indigenous varieties.
3. Watch the layout
If you’re adding shrubs and flower bushes to the area, don’t place them under large trees or near dense shrubbery as they could provide a ‘fire ladder’ to the bigger plants, creating an even bigger blaze. Allow for breathing space around plants and consider container gardening as a way to enjoy plants without having them in the ground.
4. Get the foundation right
Ground cover doesn’t have to take the form of a full lawn – a potentially expensive and water-hungry element that can pose a dire risk. Create plant ‘islands’ and add gravel pathways or use flagstones or pavers for outdoor areas. Soften the area with potted plants or a vertical garden if necessary.
Safeguarding your property against wildfires can potentially make the difference between whether your building is saved or consumed in a runaway blaze. Certain properties are more vulnerable to fire than others – make sure yours isn’t one of them by taking the proper precautions. Need help creating the perfect landscape for your development? At Eco Balance, we specialise in creative, indigenous landscapes that add value to your commercial space.