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Jun 11, 2018

The Ultimate Guide to Fireplace Regulations in Australia

When it comes time to install a new fireplace in your home, there are a few things of which you need to be aware. The most important of which is ticking off the fireplace regulations in your area. Australia has several standards and requirements in place to keep you and your family safe – so it’s best to ensure you’re aware of them.

These standards are important for both a smooth installation of your new fireplace, as well as enjoying a warm, cosy fire throughout the year.

Here are the regulations in Australia to keep in mind when thinking about a new fireplace.

Fireplace Installation

When installing a fireplace or wood heater, it needs to comply with Australian Standard AS/NAS 2918. This includes several restrictions that may impact on the size of your fireplace, as well as where you can place it within your home.

All fireplaces should be installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications. It is best, therefore, to have your fireplace installed by a qualified fireplace specialist.

Before looking into a new fireplace, it’s also a good idea to check this off with your local council first. There may be extra restrictions in your area, and it can be costly to find these out further down the line.

Clearance Dimensions

When installing a new fireplace, you must also ensure that the area immediately surrounding your fireplace (including the floors and walls) is adequately protected. You’ll need to install a hearth, which is constructed from a non-combustible material to protect timber and carpet floors. Often, homeowners opt for a slate, tone or tiled hearth, which adds a sense of ambiance and grandeur to your fireplace. The size of your hearth needs to be directly proportionate to the size of your heater.

Chimney Regulations

Fireplaces require a minimum flue height of 4.6m, measured above the floor where the fireplace will be installed. In addition, the flue must not be located near any windows or doors, which would allow the exhaust to move back inside your home. Flues must also be aimed in a vertical direction, and be tightly sealed so that smoke does not escape inside your property.

When thinking about your chimney or flue, you must ensure it clears your roofline by at least 600mm. It must also be more than 1m taller than that of any of your neighbours homes. In addition, there must be a 3m clearance around the end of the flue; it cannot be blocked by trees, windows, second storey walls or the walls of a neighbouring property. It also needs to match the size of your fireplace so there is enough space for air to be expelled.

Fireplace Use and Maintenance

Australian Standards also list some key recommendations to ensure your fireplace is used and maintained properly. Here are some extra tips:

  • Have your fireplace and chimney serviced at least once per year (Spring or Summer is best for this)
  • For wood-burning fires, make sure you’re using the right firewood in your area
  • Make sure your home is insulated, and close doors and curtains to conserve heat and allow fresh air in through the chimney or flue for better burning.

To learn more about fireplace regulations or which fireplace is perfect for your home, call us today on (03) 9489 7654 or contact us here.