Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) ratings

A Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) rating is used to assess the severity of a building’s potential exposure to bushfires. The building’s proximity to bushland and the type of vegetation determine the BAL rating. The BAL rating dictates specific construction requirements for each BAL rating to be included in the building approval to home builders. Any proposed building work to existing buildings/structures may also need to meet BAL construction requirements at building approval stage if they are determined to be in a bushfire prone area.

Being surrounded by nature means Kwinana is a beautiful place to live, but it does increase our bushfire threat. You need to be aware that any modifications to your home may require a BAL assessment before commencing building work.

Roof-mounted evaporative coolers installed on residential buildings that are located in a designated bush fire prone area must be fitted with non-combustible covers 

BAL ratings

The BAL ratings calculate the level of risk to each area:

  • BAL Low: Risk is considered to be low. No specific construction requirements.
  • BAL 12.5: Risk is considered to be low. Risk of ember attack. (BAL 12.5 Construction Requirements).
  • BAL 19: Risk is considered to be moderate. A risk of ember attack and burning debris ignited by windborne embers and a likelihood of exposure to radiant heat. (BAL 19 Construction Requirements).
  • BAL 29: Risk is considered to be high. An increased risk of ember attack and burning debris ignited by windborne embers and a likelihood of exposure to an increased level of radiant heat. (BAL 29 Construction Requirements).
  • BAL 40: Risk is considered to be very high. A much increased risk of ember attack and burning debris ignited by windborne embers. A lilkelihood of exposure to a high level of radiant heat and some likelihood of direct exposure to flames from the fire front. (BAL 40 Construction Requirements).
  • BAL FZ: Risk is considered to be extreme. An extremely high risk of ember attack and burning debris ignited by windborne embers. A likelihood of exposure to an extreme level of radiant heat and direct exposure to flames from the fire front. (BAL FZ Construction Requirements).

From Department of Commerce, Building Commission.

If you’re unsure of your rating and building obligations, please contact the City of Kwinana Building Services on 9439 0200.

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