The onset of spring this year has brought with it a sobering reality. The threat of bushfires in Australia is becoming more ever-present. Already, parts of Victoria and New South Wales have dealt with serious bushfire outbreaks – threatening lives and destroying property.
This increasingly year-round threat serves as a stark reminder of the importance of understanding Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) ratings and the role they play in protecting your homes.
Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) Ratings
In response to the Black Saturday Bushfires in Victoria in 2009, The Building Code of Australia instituted new standards relating to the use of materials in bushfire prone areas.
Six separate zones or Bushfire Attack Levels (BALs) were created, based on the threat level of bushfire at the point at which a property sits, you can see these below.
Understanding BAL Appropriate Windows & Doors
Homes situated in bushfire-prone areas must adhere to BAL ratings to ensure their windows and doors provide adequate protection. Depending on the assigned BAL rating, different precautions are necessary to enhance safety:
- Toughened Glass: For higher BAL-rated properties, windows and doors may require toughened glass to withstand flying debris and extreme heat.
- Internal Metal Screens: In some cases, such as BAL-FZ, internal metal screens are necessary to provide an additional layer of protection.
- Exterior Shutters: BAL-FZ properties might need exterior shutters to further safeguard against the intensity of bushfires.
Determining Your Home's BAL Rating
To establish the BAL rating for your property, it's advisable to get in touch with your local fire authority or local council. They can provide you with the information and guidance needed to determine the appropriate BAL rating for your location.
Ensuring Compliance with BAL Ratings
The most reliable way to guarantee that your windows and doors align with the appropriate BAL rating for your home is to talk to our team. We’ll work meticulously with you to assess your property's requirements and ensure that your windows and doors meet the necessary standards. We understand the importance of safety in bushfire-prone areas and are committed to providing you with the best solutions.
If you'd like to talk to an expert about windows and doors to match your homes' BAL rating, get in touch with us here.
You can also view Southern Star Aluminium BAL ratings and Canterbury Timber BAL ratings through our website.