Explaining BAL 40 and its applications
The dry and hot weather in Australia has made bushfire dangerous to Australian properties. And we have witnessed the detrimental effects of bushfire from those in New South Wales and California. Protecting a property against such events is not only crucial to your earnings, but also for those within it. The Australian authorities also take bushfire seriously with a bushfire standard. Mostly referred as BAL-40, what does it actually mean? And why does it matter?
Well-known as BAL, Bushfire Attack Level is a tiered system in Australia to determine the level of protection required against wild fire. The system consists of a total of six levels under AS3959. The commonly known BAL-40 is the second highest level within the system.
Bushfire Attack Levels (from high to low)
- Flame Zone (more than 40kW/m2 of heat)
- 40 (below 40kW/m2 of heat)
- 29 (below 29kW/m2 of heat)
- 19 (below 19kW/m2 of heat)
- 12.5 (below 12.5kW/m2 of heat)
- Low (cannot be rated)
The BAL of your property is determined by various factors. The region of your property is one of the factors. The Victorian Government regularly updates the Bushfire Prone Area which owners should check for bushfire protection. Keeping your property up to standard not only keeps the occupants safe, but also ensures the compliance to regulations.
The vegetation and the distance of such to your property is also influential to BAL. Authorities recommend a 20-meter separation between the property and nearby vegetation. Because of that, the rating for every surface is different for the same property. If the recommended separation is followed, BAL 40 should be suitable for most cases.
So what does it mean to you?
The damage that bushfire can do is more than just burning down houses. It will also affect your life and family as well. Protecting them is a lifelong priority. Therefore, installing bushfire screens is crucial to keep your family safe. A bushfire screen cannot keep your house from bushfire. But it can resist the heat outside longer and give more time to escape. The minimum level for new buildings is BAL 12.5 and buildings 100 meters away from plants are likely to be rated as BAL Low. Although not every property will need screens at BAL-40, higher grade protection can resist fire for longer. The increased time provides a longer period to escape and enhance the chance to survive.
The Victorian Government has strict regulation on buildings in bushfire prone areas. New properties in the area have to follow all the latest standards. It ensures the safety of the people inside while also limiting the spread of bushfire. Every individual wall and surface have to meet the required fire-resistance standard. Established buildings using as schools, child care centres, hospitals and aged care facilities have to follow the latest rules as well.
Despite it is not a must for older buildings to reach the latest standard, improving your property to withstand bushfire is great to keep your loved ones safe. The spread of bushfire can be fast and deadly. Improving the resistant to bushfire of your building increases the chance of survival of the occupants in the building. For the common good, bushfire resistance helps to limit the spread of bushfire and protect your community as a whole.
The difference of Clearshield Bushfire Screens
Clearshield Victoria provides BAL-40 Grade Bushfire Screens for all Melbourne and Victorian properties. We customise all of our products in our own production facility. While defending bushfire, our screens also protect against break-ins. All of the Clearshield security products can be made up to BAL-40 grade. Contact us to get a free quote.