At Humpy Co, we’re often asked about bushfire zones, BAL ratings and fire safety surrounding our product. With Australia’s wild weather, we understand how important fire safety is. To get the low-down on what it’s all about and how it applies to you – we’ve got the scoop below
What is a BAL rating, exactly?
BAL stands for “Bushfire Attack Level”, a means of measuring the severity of a building’s potential exposure to ember attack, radiant heat & direct flame contact.
A BAL rating is used in the assessment of constructing buildings in areas which are likely to experience bushfires. The BAL rating dictates both the construction method & materials used in these areas, with the intention to prevent bushfires from attacking and destroying these buildings.
There are six Bushfire Attack Levels ranging from low fire-threat to extreme.
Each level is assumed to carry the same risks as the previous level, as well as their additional risks.
BAL Low – No significant risk. No construction requirements. (VERY LOW)
At this level, no requirements are necessary due to an insufficient risk of fire.
BAL 12.5 – Ember Risk. (LOW)
This rating carries a sufficient risk of fire from embers or burning debris to warrant construction requirements. However, BAL 12.5 does not signify enough heat to affect windows or other building elements.
BAL 19 – Increased heat flux and the possibility of debris igniting due to increased embers. (MODERATE)
When BAL 19 is reached, there is sufficient cause for concern. Building elements are subject to construction requirements to prevent damage and spread of fire. BAL 19 can be reduced by removing elements that increase the risk of fire.
BAL 29 – Increased heat flux, burning debris and risk to building integrity. (HIGH)
Buildings which are rated a BAL 29 are at serious risk of catching fire due to burning debris and increased heat flux. This level also carries a risk of the building becoming exposed to flames. Ember and radiant heat protection are required in the construction of buildings that are rated a BAL 29.
BAL 40 – Increased exposure to flames. (VERY HIGH)
BAL 40 carries all the risks of BAL 29 except that the risk of exposure to flames is significantly increased. Construction requirements include using materials that are highly resistant to flames. Eliminating elements that promote the spread of flames, embers & radiant heat is required.
BAL FZ – Direct contact with flames. (EXTREME)
BAL FZ stands for “Bushfire Attack Level – Flame Zone” – this represents a direct threat to buildings and residents. Significant protection is necessary for buildings with this rating. Radiant heat barriers, modifications to the building and removing direct fire risks is required. If possible, it is strongly recommended that you do not build your home in a Flame Zone.
(Image Source: skyspan.com.au)
What BAL rating is my Humpy Co. Pod?
Humpy Co. Pods are covered up to a BAL 29, our materials are made to resist catching fire due to burning debris and increased heat flux. Heat and ember protection is used in the construction of each of our Humpy Co. pods to ensure fire safety.
I live in a BAL 40 rated zone – Can I still purchase a Humpy Co. Pod?
Yes! We have fire-safety upgrades, including a concrete panelling to protect your Humpy Co Pod up to a BAL 40.
Other upgrade requirements include (where necessary) your Humpy’s cladding, roofing, decking, doors & windows, gutters and building materials.
How do I find out my BAL rating?
During the drafting process (Link to drafting process) of your Humpy Co. pod – we can provide this information for you in conjunction with property information, flood overlays & other relevant documents needed prior to the construction of your pod.
For an assessment outside of Humpy Co. please contact your local council or building surveyor to supply you with a Fire Rating Overlay on your property.
For any further information regarding your Humpy Co. Pod or BAL ratings – please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org