What Are BAL Ratings

BAL Ratings Direct Exposure


Direct exposure to flames from the fire in front in addition to heat flux of greater than 40 kW/m² and ember attack
BAL Ratings Increase Level of Ember attacks


Increasing levels of ember attack and ignition of debris with a heat flux of up to 40 kW/m² and increased likelihood of exposure to flames
BAL Ratings heat flux of up to 29 kW/m2


Covered by FLAMEfixx dFx®
Increasing levels of ember attack and ignition of debris with a heat flux of up to 29 kW/m²
BAL Ratings heat flux of up to 19 kW/m2


Covered by FLAMEfixx dFx®
Increasing levels of ember attack and ignition of debris with a heat flux of up to 19 kW/m²
BAL Ratings heat flux up to 12.5 kW/m2


Covered by FLAMEfixx dFx®
Ember attack with heat flux of up to 12.5 kW/m²

BAL stands for Bushfire Attack Level and represents a scale used to determine a building’s risk of catching on fire. However, as the name suggests, the scale is specifically concerned with bushfires.

A BAL is used in the assessment of constructing buildings in areas which are likely to experience bushfires. In basic terms, when a proposed building bushfire attack level rates low on the scale there are no related restrictions on construction. However, each rating after BAL Low will mean that you must adhere to construction requirements.

What is BAL Rating? 

BAL ratings dictate both the construction methods and materials used in bushfire prone areas. The purpose of bushfire attack level ratings is designed to help prevent bushfires from destroying buildings and spreading to other areas. Each rating is assumed to carry the same risks as the previous rating, as well as additional risks. As such, it is important to ensure that new and existing buildings are constructed according to BAL rating requirements.

BAL Low – No significant risk. No Construction requirements

BAL Low suggests that there is an insufficient risk of fire from embers, radiant heat or flames. There are no construction requirements for a BAL Low rating; however, you can use BAL 12.5 construction requirements if you are still concerned that your home may be at risk.

BAL 12.5 – Ember Risk

This rating carries a sufficient enough risk of fire from embers or burning debris to warrant construction requirements. However, BAL 12.5 does not signify enough heat to affect windows or other building elements.

BAL 19 – Increased heat flux, and the possibility of debris igniting due to increased embers

When BAL 19 is reached, there is sufficient cause for concern due to increased radiant heat and ember attack. Building elements are subject to construction requirements to prevent damage and spread of fire. BAL 19 can be reduced by removing elements which increase the risk of radiant heat.

BAL 29 – Increased heat flux, burning debris and risk to building integrity

Buildings which are rated as BAL 29 are at serious risk of catching on fire due to burning debris and increased heat flux. There is also a risk of the building becoming exposed to flames. Ember and radiant heat protection are required in the construction of buildings that are rated BAL 29.

BAL 40 – Increased exposure to flames

BAL 40 carries all the risks of BAL 29 except that the risk of exposure to flames is now significantly increased. Construction requirements include using materials that are highly resistant to flames. Eliminating elements which promote the spread of flames, embers and radiant heat is also recommended.

BAL FZ – Direct contact with flames

BAL FZ – or Flame Zone – represents a direct threat to buildings and residents. Significant protection is required to reduce the threat, such as radiant heat barriers and modifications to the building and surrounding property. If at all possible, it is recommended that you do not build your home in a designated Flame Zone.