Bushfire Attack Levels (BAL's)
Summer is peak bushfire season, with the hot-dry Australian weather creating dangerous conditions for fires to start and spread.
It’s important then to do everything possible to keep your home and those inside it safe. Safety begins during the construction phase to ensure your property meets strict standards applicable for specific environments.
The Building Code of Australia (BCA) sets Australian Standards in regards to bushfire safety requirements. Australian Standard AS 3959 classifies different bushfire intensity levels that a home may experience during a bushfire - these are referred to as Bushfire Attack Levels, or BAL’s for short.
Knowing a homes BAL rating will not only help prepare to the right level, but also makes people more aware of the bushfire dangers potentially faced by their particular properties.
There are 6 bushfire attack levels increasing in severity:
- BAL Low
- BAL 12.5
- BAL 19
- BAL 29
- BAL 40
- BAL Flame Zone
Individual levels are based on the following factors:
- The region where you live.
- The vegetation type around your property.
- The distance from your home to individual vegetation types.
- Slope on the property.
With all these factors considered, an appropriate BAL rating can be determined. Products rated at BAL levels improve the ability of a building to withstand that level of bushfire attack and provide greater protection for the occupants who may be sheltering inside while the fire front passes.
Southern Star Aluminium and Canterbury Timber Windows and Doors have products with various BAL ratings to suit any project requirement. Our product BAL Ratings can be found here.
To determine your home’s BAL rating and any special requirements for building in your area, consult your local council, government or local fire authority.