What are Bal Ratings?
The BAL rating or ‘Bushfire Attack Level’ is a measurement of the risk of a building being exposed to radiant heat, ember attack or direct flames. And so these ratings are applied to homes based on how bushfire prone they are. There are different requirements for the construction of a building based on the allocated rating. In this article we will look at these Ratings, what they mean and how they affect the construction of your home. I will also provide some links for further reading and to helpful online tools.
Am I in a bushfire zone?
When planning a build you may want to consider the risk of a bushfire affecting the location. Are you centred in a suburban sprawl or on the edge of a forest? Online tools can assist you in determining your risk. See a couple linked below. If in doubt, consider ringing your local shire council or fire command.
Complying with Bal Ratings
Bal Ratings range from Bal Low (Low Risk) to Bal FZ (Extreme Risk, Flame Zone). In the case that flammable vegetation is more than 100M from your building, you will likely achieve a Bal Low. However, In a location surrounding by forest where flame may directly come in contact with your building, you may achieve a Bal FZ.
For this reason, there are requirements for buildings based on the rating allocated. This includes construction methods, materials used and services in place. For example, In higher rated areas there are limits to what timber species may be used to construct doors and windows.
Having a Bushfire Survival Plan
Regardless of your building’s rating, it is always wise to have a Bushfire Survival Plan. You should discuss with your house hold on what to do in case of a bushfire, or any other fire such as a house fire. Things such as exit points, an assembly point, fire-fighting tools etc should be outlined. I have provided a link below to the RFS website which provides some great info on constructing a Bush Fire Survival Plan. You may also visit your local fire station for further assistance.
As you can see, it is important to comply with these ratings and always be prepared for the risk of a bush fire. At The Joinery Store in Young, we can provide custom made windows and doors to comply with these ratings. Please feel free to contact us for more info.