Building Products For Fire Prone Areas
Renovating or building a new house in a bush fire prone area can be a nightmare if the right building materials are not chosen. Not only should the doors, windows, roofing and cladding meet the family requirements, but they must also comply with construction codes for bush fire prone areas.
In order to choose the right building products which complies with Bushfire Attack Levels (BAL) it’s important to understand what Bushfire Attack Levels is.
Bushfire Attack Levels (BAL) are given to properties which are:
Located in bush fire risk areas, the higher the value of BAL, the higher the bush fire risk. BAL – FZ however indicates that you are in total Flame Zone and are at extreme bush fire risk.
Here are the 5 main Bushfire Attack Levels (BAL) you need to determine which one applies to your property.
BAL – 12.5: lowest level of bush fire attack.
BAL – 19: possible requirements – use of fire retardant timbers.
BAL – 29: possible requirements – gutter guards, use fire retardant timber timbers.
BAL – 40: possible requirements – gutter guards, stainless steel or bronze insect screens, no exposed timber, use brick & concrete cladding, fibre cement sheeting, brick cladding, metal framed toughened glass windows and doors only.
BAL – FZ: possible requirements – stainless steel insect screens, windows and doors that comply with AS3959 and AS1530.8.2. gutter guards, no exposed timber, brick and concrete cladding, radiant heat barriers like fire shutters, sprinkler systems, fire hydrants, special barrier housing for gas cylinders and emergency exits.
To get building materials based on these codes, it is recommended to hire professional builders in Perth. Even if you are not located in a fire prone area, it is always useful to work with them as they are the ultimate designers that can save you constructional costs.
Confirm that the products comply with your site
All building materials will have a product specification document that state what BAL level they are able to withstand. Unfortunately, there are many wonderful products on the market that cannot be given specific BAL compliance levels as they are considered composite products. Again, to adhere to the safety codes, builders in Perth can help you a lot.
Products like bitumen roof shingles that are composed of a few different products cannot be tested, but single component materials like Colorbond sheeting or terracotta tiles can.
This means whenever you come to a conclusion on the building materials, it is a wise choice to go as per the builders’ recomendations, keeping the safety in mind.