VICTORIANS are being warned about the dangers of buying fire bunkers that have not been accredited by the appropriate regulatory body.Councils across the state, as well as the Victorian Building Commission have urged consumers to only purchase shelters or bunkers that have Building Regulations Advisory Committee approval.
The warning comes as fires continue to rage in Gippsland amid a high-risk bushfire season.
Murrindindi Shire Cr Margaret Rae stressed the importance of ensuring fire shelters were sufficiently accredited.
"The concern is that people may be putting their lives and the lives of their family at risk by using these non-approved structures in a bushfire emergency,'' Cr Rae said.
"We remind residents that private bushfire shelters should only be used as a place of last resort and that regardless of the quality of the shelter, the only way to ensure your safety is to have a bushfire plan in place and to leave early on days of high fire danger.''
Victorian Building Commissioner Michael Kefford said a number of companies were calling their constructions 'storage shelters' in the hope of avoiding regulatory requirements.
He said the only BRAC-approved shelter was the Wildfire Safety Bunker.
"Any other models by any other companies should be treated as non-accredited, as they have not been approved by BRAC,'' Mr Kefford said.
"Buying one of these non-accredited models is not worth the risk it could pose to you and your family if a major bushfire threatened your home.
"Regardless of the quality of the shelter, the only way to absolutely ensure your safety is to leave early.''