Bushfire regulations and your block

In 2009 Victoria experienced one of the country’s worst bushfire events РBlack Saturday. The resulting loss of life and property heralded the introduction of the most significant changes to building construction and site assessments in living memory.

One such development is the BAL rating (Bushfire Attack Level) that requires each block of land designated to be in a bushfire prone area to be individually rated. The ratings range from BAL 12.5 meaning basic changes to design principles, through to FZ or Flame Zone, the most susceptible areas requiring the most extreme of preventative building practices. In between BAL 12.5 and FZ there are BAL 19, BAL 29 and BAL 40. The majority of land close to Bendigo and major towns in the region are classified BAL 12.5, whereas blocks outside of town may fall into a BMO (Bushfire Management Overlay). This triggers the requirement for a planning permit and a bushfire management report provided by a suitably qualified person.

Glen Loddon Homes meets the required home protection standards by providing bushfire weeper inserts to the weep holes, aluminium mesh rather than fibreglass to the flyscreens, and Anticon blankets fitted to all Colorbond roofs. This more than covers any bushfire level up to BAL 40, and are standard with any Glen Loddon Home. Other things to consider are:

  • Window height: it is preferable to keep the windows up 300 mm from the floor level to guard against ember attack.
  • Doors: the front door and frame need to be selected from the appropriate BAL door options.
  • Appropriate site management: the site management needs to be worked through before landscaping and tree plantings are finalised. Size and placement are critical to the safety and performance of your home from both a bushfire safety and foundation perspective.

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