Welcome to the Bushfire Smart Blog!
We aim to update this regularly with all the essential information you need regarding your future build. If you have any queries feel free to contact us – we are always happy to help!
A Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) Assessment is a means of measuring the severity of a building’s potential exposure to the three different ways a bushfire can attack a property – ember attack, radiant heat and direct flame contact…
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.
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.
The most commonly requested bushfire report is the Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) Assessment. While this is where we, as bushfire consultants will start, it is not always the end. It is important to know, before the process starts, what level of bushfire consultation will be required so that you can understand:
The costs involved; the time frame; if there will be any compliance issues; and what council will expect from you.
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.
In our previous articles we have discussed what a BAL rating is. If you haven’t seen that article you can read it here: What is a BAL rating. But you may ask, how is a BAL rating calculated?
A BAL rating is calculated using the calculation methods in AS3959. There are two different methods cited in AS3959; The simplified procedure (Method 1) or Detailed Procedure (Method 2). In most cases, it is only necessary to use method 1 and this is what we will be concentrating on in this article.
There are fives steps to calculating a BAL Assessment…
When we picture a house or building being destroyed by a bushfire we often imagine the flames from the fire directly attacking the house overtaking the house. But did you know that houses have been lost that are over 700 metres from the fire front? And that most houses are not destroyed by direct flame contact?