Bushfire Smart

Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) Assessments​

To ensure you are getting the best result, Sustainability WA BAL assessments and Bushfire Management Plans are carried out by FPAA accredited consultants.

A Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) Assessment is a means of measuring the severity of a buildings potential exposure to ember attack, radiant heat and direct flame contact in a bushfire event, and thereby determining the construction measures required for the dwelling.

The BAL assessment takes into account several factors including the Fire Danger Index, the slope of the land, types of vegetation and how close it is to the proposed building.

Once a BAL is calculated, building construction requirements can be calculated from the relevant sections of the Australian standard to ensure the correct resistance to bushfires. These requirements take into account the BAL rating for attack from burning embers, radiant heat and flame contact.

The Bushfire Attack Levels are broken down into 6 categories:

There is insufficient risk to warrant specific construction requirements

Ember Attack

Increasing levels of ember attack and burning debris ignited by windborne embers together with increasing heat flux

Increasing levels of ember attack and burning debris ignited by windborne embers together with increasing heat flux

Increasing levels of ember attack and burning debris ignited by windborne embers together with increasing heat flux with the increased likelihood of exposure to flames

Direct exposure to flames from the fire front in addition to heat flux and ember attack

Each one of these can add costs to your building costs, so it is important to get a qualified person to prepare a report that recognises the most cost effective method of assessment. To ensure you are getting the best result,  our BAL assessments are carried out by FPAA accredited consultants.

What Influences Bushfire Behaviour

If we understand the way a bushfire is likely to behave, it will allow us to predict the intensity, rate of travel and, direction of a bushfire, in a given set of circumstances or location. Fire conditions, which a proposed development may be exposed to, can then be predicted and appropriate measures taken to ensure the best chance of survival of property and safety of occupants during a bushfire event. 

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How will a BAL Rating affect the Cost of my House

So you are building a house in a Bushfire Prone area and now you are wondering what that may mean for the future of your home or project. How much will it cost and what changes do you need to make? Once your design has been assigned a BAL rating by an accredited bushfire consultant, your construction plans will need to be updated to reflect the correct construction requirements for the level it has been assigned.

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Do I Need a Bushfire Attack Level Assessment

You only need a BAL report if your property has been designated a Bushfire Prone Area by the DFES Commissioner. A Bushfire Prone Map identifies land designated bush fire prone areas within Western Australia. All bushfire prone areas will be subject to specific construction and planning requirements to ensure your development in a bush fire prone area is better protected from bushfires.

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