Understanding Bushfire Ratings
For many Australians, understanding bushfire ratings is an important but easily overlooked issue in window and door selection. Moving away from the short winter days through to the longer, warmer ones can be an unhappy time – less time is spent cuddled up in bed and more time is spent trying to stay cool in the relentless Aussie heat.
Regardless of whether the warmer months appeal to you or not, there’s one thing that the warmer months’ always signal; the inherent risk of bushfire season.
This can be particularly worrying around bushland regions of Australia including heavily populated areas such as The Adelaide Hills. Changes to the Building Code of Australia (BCA) were implemented in 2011, with the hopes of increasing the protection of homes located bushfire prone areas. These changes aim to increase the stringency around the selection of windows and doors along with other building materials for projects in bushfire-prone areas, hopefully reducing the risk of loss of life and damage to property and so home owners have a better understanding of bushfire ratings and their application to window and door selection.
If you design, plan or specify for a bushfire prone area, or are involved in any way with windows or doors within a bushfire prone area, understanding bushfire ratings is essential and there are many precautions you must take in order to maximise the safety of any current or future occupants associated with each and every dwelling. One of these precautions is the correct selection of bushfire rated window and door systems.
So what are bushfire rated window and door systems and how are they classified within the bushfire attack levels rating system (“BAL”)?
There are 6 BALs in the rating system, with each corresponding to a different level of risk and danger:
So what can be done to protect homes within BAL-rated areas?
- Selecting an appropriate building site location,
- Using suitable building materials,
- Ensuring a close proximity to independent water sources,
- Managing vegetation surrounding the building and consistently clearing debris close to the building
- Allowing easy access to a home for emergency vehicles
- Utilising only the most reliable, BAL rated windows and doors for high-levels of protection
Rema Windows supply a large range of aluminium windows and doors, that have been certified to meet the BCA requirements for compliance under the Australian Standard AS3959-2009 for windows and doors in a BAL-40 bushfire zone.
Understanding bushfire ratings and the wide range of BAL rated windows and doors available through Rema Windows, doesn’t mean you have to compromise with lesser standards of style and design. Our Elevate Aluminium and Vantage Residential ranges of BAL-40 rated Aluminium windows and doors deliver unprecedented aesthetic, efficiency and functionality, whilst ensuring the highest standards of bushfire protection for South Australian homes.
For more tips on building in bushfire zones, flame zones, window compliance and to download a free BAL-40 whitepaper, visit http://www.bal40windows.com.au/ or give us a call on 08 7200 3010.