When conducting a bushfire construction assessment, the risk of bushfire impacting property is called BAL which stands for Bushfire Attack Levels. A BAL rating is applied to the proposed construction based on a number of assessments. To determine a BAL we conduct a range of assessments which include distance to vegetation, type of vegetation, regional fire danger index, the slope of land around the dwelling. The highest BAL or greatest risk applies to BAL- FZ, whilst the lowest rating and least risk is a BAL12.5. The higher the number, the greater the bushfire risk and the more fire resistant construction requirements. The number behind the BAL acronym relates to the heat flux in kW/m². Outlined below are details regarding bushfire reporting and BAL ratings.
When it is determined that your construction BAL rating is FZ or BAL 40 you can only have the development application processed by council as your certifying authority due to significant risk and detailed consideration for construction. Although the council can be selected as your certifying authority regardless of the BAL level, a private certifier can only process development application that has a BAL level of 29 and below. BAL-FZ indicates you are in total Flame Zone and risk of bushfire exposure is extreme - possible requirements might include gutter guards, stainless steel insect screens, non-exposed timber, brick & concrete cladding, windows & doors that comply with AS3959 and AS1530.8.2 with general requirements including metal framed toughened glass windows. 10,000-litre fire dedicated water tank, or similar, radiant heat barriers such as fire shutters, domestic roof sprinkler systems with suitable fire resistant pipework or be underground, fire hydrants, special barrier housing for gas cylinders, water pumps and fire door compliant entry and garage doors.
- BAL-40 - means you're in a really high-risk area and possible requirements would include gutter guards, stainless steel or bronze insect screens, non-exposed timber, fibre cement sheeting, brick & concrete cladding, brick cladding, metal framed toughened glass windows and doors only.
- BAL-29 - possible requirements - gutter guards, use fire retardant timbers.
- BAL-19 - possible requirements - use of fire retardant timbers.
- BAL-12.5 - the lowest level of bushfire attack.
Survival Solutions can conduct remote site inspection using a range of online tools and assess your BAL level and prepare a construction report. We have some customers that require a maximum 72-hour turnaround and can assist you with similar outcomes. Payment for reports are to be made upon works approval to proceed. Contact us today for further assistance or to book an assessment on 1300040362