If you are planning a build or renovation, you may have come across the term ‘BAL Rating’. This is often a new concept to home owners can might seem confusing at first. Luckily, it is not that complicated once broken down.
So what is a BAL Rating?
The BAL rating is a rating applied to a home which signifies the risk of damage from bush fire. The location of the house and it’s surrounds are inspected to determine how much heat the house would be exposed to in the case of a bush fire.
BAL – LOW
BAL Low is the lowest BAL Rating and suggests that there are no notable bush fire related threats to the home. There is therefore no specific requirement for the doors and windows.
BAL – 12.5
BAL 12.5 indicates that the house may be subject to ember attack and heat up to 12kW/m2. The requirements for doors and windows under this rating are not difficult to achieve but may include using safety glass and fire-resistant timber species.
BAL – 19
The BAL 19 rating indicates that the property may be subject to increasing levels or ember attack and debris. A BAL 19 rated property may be subject to radiant heat up to 19kW/M2. The requirements for doors are windows are a bit stricter than BAL 12.5 but very similar.
BAL – 29
BAL 29 indicates a high risk of bush fire attack. This includes increased attack from embers and debris with heats up to 29kW/M2. Timber doors and windows must be made with bush fire resistant timber species and glazed with a minimum of 5mm toughened glass. Alternatively, they can be covered by bush fire-resistant screens or shutters.
BAL – 40
BAL 40 is a very high risk. The home is now exposed to increased embers, debris and possibly flames. Heats may reach 40kW/M2. Timber doors and windows must be covered by a bushfire shutter. Glass must be a minimum of 6mm toughened.
BAL – FZ
the flame zone. BAL FZ or ‘Flame Zone’ is the highest BAL rating. A BAL FZ house may be exposed to direct flames from a bush fire front and heats exceeding 40kW/M2. The requirements for doors and windows are much higher and may be difficult to achieve with timber doors and windows.
Can I change my BAL Rating?
A consultant or your local council, will assign a BAL rating to the property. It may be possible to lower the BAL rating if desired. An example of how this could be achieved is by clearing the land around the house allowing a 20-50M radius. Maintained gardens and lawns are not ‘Bush’. Thus the more of this type of area is surrounding the house, the lower the BAL requirement will be. If you require BAL rated timber doors or windows, please contact us for a quote.