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, 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:
AWS COMPLIANT SYSTEMS
AWS has developed and tested an extensive range of Vantage, Elevate™ and ThermalHEART™ aluminium windows and doors to meet and exceed BCA requirements for compliance under Australian Standard AS3959-2009 for windows and doors in a BAL40 bushfire zone. Products which can be built to BAL-40 Specifications can be viewed HERE
Throughout AWS brochures. websites and literature. window and door systems which have been tested or certified to comply with AS3959-2009 are identified with the BAL40 logo illustrated below.
Testing undertaken is in accordance with AS 1530.8.1 and the certification is issued based upon a positive outcome to this testing procedure.
When specifying AWS window and door systems for BAL40 bushfire applications, please make your fabricator aware of this requirement as specific mohair, seals. hardware and components are required during manufacture to ensure compliance.
All AWS windows supplied as compliant for BAL40 bushfire zones will be identified with the following adhesive label:
AWS BAL40 rated systems have been successfully tested to comply with relevant Australian Standards without the use of screens.
Any accredited BAL40 rated screen can be fitted to AWS window systems in accordance with Australian Standard.
Approved fire rated screens in accordance with Australian Standard are required on all opening portions of windows.
So what can be done to protect homes within BAL-rated areas?
To begin with:
Select an appropriate building site location
Use suitable building materials
Ensure a close proximity to independent water sources
Manage vegetation surrounding the building and regularly clearing debris close to the building
Ensure easy access to the home for emergency vehicles
Using only the most reliable BAL rated windows and doors for the highest levels of protection
Download our brochure on Bushfire Attack Level Information