Providing Bushfire Attack Level Assessments
in Newcastle

Fire Safety — Bushfire Services In Newcastle, NSW

Comprehensive Fire Safety Assessments

Bushfire and Environmental Management Consultancy is a fully insured and accredited BPAD bushfire consultant, undertaking BAL Certificates, bushfire assessments, bushfire planning and bushfire reports. We implement industry best practices within fire planning and assessment. If your land is identified within the bushfire prone land map then your development is required to comply with bushfire standards. We provide bushfire attack level assessments in Newcastle, the Mid North Coast, the Hunter Valley, the Central Coast and Port Stephens.

Depending on your development, there are a range of approval and certifying pathways. In many cases, obtaining a pre-construction constraint assessment provides interim bushfire requirements for your development.

Man Wearing Business Suit — Bushfire Services In Newcastle, NSW

BAL Certificate and BAL Report:

If your land is within bushfire prone lands and positioned outside Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) 40 and flame zone, you may be able to satisfy bushfire requirements through a BAL Certificate, also known as a BAL Report or Complying Development Certificate. This can be broadly determined if your land is between 50m to 100m from the nearest forested bush land.

Our BAL Certificate or BAL report incorporates a site inspection and satisfies the State Environmental Planning Policy Code (2008) The General Housing Code Part 3, Division 2, Clause 3.4 (2) (a) that the development will not be carried out on any part of the lot that is bushfire attack level-40 (BAL 40) or in the flame zone (BAL FZ), or the Rural Housing Code, Part 3A, Division 3 Subdivision 9, Clause 3A.37 (2) (b) the part of the lot on which the development is to be carried out and any associated access way is not in bushfire attack level-40 (BAL 40) or the flame zone (BAL FZ). There are other parts of this code relating to bushfire which still must be met.

Compliance to the BAL Certificate needs to be met. Prior to you being issued an occupation certificate, the BAL Report Certificate will be reviewed to ensure the development complies with the specifications of the BAL Certificate or BAL Report.

Two Firemen — Bushfire Services In Newcastle, NSW

BAL Certificates

Bushfire Attack Level Certificate:

A bushfire attack level certificate (BAL certificate) is a requirement for landowners that hope to develop a compliant building on bushfire prone land. Property in a bushfire prone area is likely to require a BAL certificate before you can obtain building approval from the local council or certifier.

Your BAL certificate certifies that your building and access to the building does not fall into the flame zone or the BAL-40 zone and other bushfire protection measures such as water, gas and electricity are met.

Before we issue your bushfire attack level certificate, an inspection may be required to assess the risk of potential fire damage to your property during a wildfire. Factors that increase your fire risk include your proximity to flammable vegetation, the natural topography, and the climate in your area. Before you even start planning the development of your land, it is advisable to assess the BAL and bushfire planning requirements of the property through obtaining a bushfire due diligence report.

How Does a Bushfire Attack Level Assessment Work?

  • An accredited bushfire consultant will conduct a site visit to determine your property’s BAL rating. The rating falls into five different zones ranging from BAL-12.5 to BAL-40. Property with a BAL-12.5 rating is low risk, while a BAL-40 rating is considered high-risk land. Extremely dangerous areas are known as flame zones (BAL-FZ).
  • We can issue a bushfire attack level report that identifies the BAL zones on your property for new developments. This report will help you make the most informed decision about where to place your building. It can also help you plan access routes and the placement of services and utilities.
  • Your BAL rating will affect your development plans, and it is wise to get your BAL assessed early in the land development process. If any parts of your structure are in moderate to high-risk zones, you will need to comply with bushfire planning regulations. There are many ways to improve your building’s compliance, including using fire-retardant building materials, careful landscaping with flame-resistant vegetation, and providing access routes in safe zones.
Knowing your bushfire attack level rating is crucial before you develop your land. Your BAL report helps you plan your development wisely from the start. BEMC is an accredited issuer of bushfire attack level certificates.

Types of Bushfire Reports and Assessments We Offer

Helicopter — Bushfire Services In Newcastle, NSW

Bushfire Reports

Secure Your Home and Your Memories with a Bushfire Report

Your house is not just four walls, it is a home: a safe haven to you and your loved ones. It’s filled with memories, laughter, friendly visits, pets and silly little items that bring back a flood of good memories. Securing your home and the safety of your loved ones is vital and easy with bushfire reports. They give you the advantage of knowing the land your home is on, the risks involved and how to mitigate them.

The Importance of Bushfire Reports

We’ve all seen the news of the rapid spreading fires at the start of 2020. This, together with the many horrid stories of families and their losses, is on everyone’s lips. It is estimated that the fires which raged over New South Wales (NSW) burned over six percent of the state. The importance of completing a report for your property can’t be overstated.

  • Knowing whether your land is fire prone or not gives you the insight to take the appropriate steps to secure your land for yourself and your loved ones.
  • The report will also help you be fire compliant. In an area where bushfires are prone to break out, knowing the steps to compliancy may save a life.
  • We can help you implement safety steps such as fire planning, evacuation, emergency plans and controlled burning plans. All of these can minimise the extent of a fire should it occur.

Tips to Remember for Fire Safety

Let’s stand together as a community and work on securing our homes, our land and our region. This will ensure the safety of you and your loved ones and help look after the unique ecological system in place in NSW.

  • A bushfire report will give you an indication of whether your land is fire-prone or not.
  • Encourage the neighbourhood to take part, share info and discuss communal ideas around safety, emergencies and evacuation.
  • Steps such as controlled burning can be implemented to secure the neighbourhood.
Contact us now for assessment and guidance on wildfires. You can reach us on 0408 667 137.

Bushfire Risk Report

Quantifying the threat, vulnerability, likelihood and consequences of an intense bushfire event is essential for understanding the risk profile of the development. It is also important for establishing appropriate triggers for emergency management and treatments to mitigate the impact of a bushfire. A well prepared and applied risk assessment will significantly increase your property’s resilience and the ability to recover from a bushfire. BEMC can provide a bushfire risk report for this purpose.

Two reports will be generated to address two principal elements that form the scope of work.

1. What is the bushfire risk?
2. What works can be undertaken to mitigate bushfire risk and improve emergency management arrangements?

The BAL Report will address planning for bushfire protection in accordance with the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act 1979 and Rural Fires Act 1997. The works will be undertaken in consultation with Fire Protection Association (FPA) Australia ‘Practise Notes’, research outcomes for the Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Council (BNHCRC) and Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authority Council (AFAC) knowledge hub.

The BFRA will identify the current level of bushfire risk to the site, buildings and people in consideration of the landscaping and design characteristics of the site and buildings. Analysis of the potential bushfire behaviour and the weather conditions experienced by the site will determine the risk profile. The likelihood and consequence of a bushfire attack will be addressed.

Bushfire action statements will be determined to provide guidance on maintenance and improvement activities that can be undertaken within five years prior to the review of the document. The National Emergency Risk Assessment Guidelines (NERAG), AS/NZS ISO 31000 risk management, principles and guidelines, as well as any existing emergency management arrangements will be incorporated into the assessment.

The elements that will be covered within this complex bushfire report are:

  • Existing bushfire environment and mitigation
  • Potential bushfire scenarios
  • Bushfire risk assessment methodology
  • Bushfire risk assessment
  • Development of bushfire risk mitigation treatments, action statements and scheduling
  • Performance and monitoring review

Bushfire Environmental Management Consultancy will implement a range of contemporary assessment methods, such as analysis of fire weather for the area, site specific constraints and current mitigation measures, as well as assessing response resources, human intervention and human behaviour.

Bushfire Risk Assessment

If it’s a bushfire risk assessment, report or plan you’re seeking, spark a conversation with our professional bushfire environmental consultants. We are fully insured and accredited as BPAD bushfire planners with Fire Protection Association (FPA) Australia, implementing industry best practices in fire planning and bushfire risk assessment, keeping your property fire-free.

We can provide a due diligence pre-construction constraints report, a desktop analysis of your development with a BAL report (bushfire attack level), an interim measure before you complete the myriad of reports and assessments required for your type of development and its location.

Clients are becoming more aware of the necessity for controlled burning, even though it’s not legislated in NSW. We added fuel to our fire with our new service focusing on prescribed burning along with our other land, bushfire and environmental management services.

What You Can Expect from BEMC Regarding Bushfire Assessment Reports

You thought construction was as simple as laying bricks, then builders ask you about BAL ratings and bushfire assessment reports. We shed light on your burning questions on bushfires.

  • Developments we service: We cater to all buildings, occupied or unoccupied, within bushfire prone land. These include mum and dad developments, land developers, rural landowners, managers, local, state, federal agencies, community and Aboriginal groups. If you haven’t determined this, we can tell you if your building could get caught in the smoke or flames.
  • Areas we service: You can expect our prompt and efficient services in the Local Council areas of Lake Macquarie, Newcastle, Port Stephens, the Central Coast, Cessnock, Singleton, Muswellbrook, Upper Hunter, Maitland, and the Mid North Coast. We also provide services in the Bathurst, Orange and Dubbo regions of the central west of NSW.
  • Accredited and Authorised: Besides bushfire hazard assessment, we offer different types of reports from due diligence, design briefing, bushfire restraint, fire analysis reports, planning and building compliance, bushfire compliance certificates to evacuation and emergency plans, as well as recommended threat reduction strategies and prescribed burning plans.

To see if your development is compliant or not, most clients complete the Bushfire Assessment Report that ensures all initial bushfire compliance, risks, and hazard mitigation is covered. We suggest this for you. To find out more, call us on 0408 667 137.

Burned Trees After Bushfire — Bushfire Services In Newcastle, NSW

BAL Report FAQs

There are some councils that will accept a BAL rating you perform yourself, while others require a certified bushfire consultant to conduct the assessment. While you might feel it’s easier to conduct the assessment yourself, insurance companies may hesitate to accept a self-assessed BAL rating, and this could result in an insurance claim not being paid after the event of a bushfire. Contact our team today if you want to learn more about how we can assist!

A BAL Report is crucial in detecting bushfire risk and the construction standards necessary to improve the safety of buildings threatened by bushfires. It’s very important you are aware of the BAL of your building or property, as your local government may not give approval for development or subdivision if you have a high BAL rating.

For any residential building situated within a bushfire-prone area, the Building Code of Australia sets down particular bushfire construction requirements. These separate buildings into particular classes:

  • Class 1: Single residential dwellings, bed-and-breakfast accommodation, hostels and guest houses
  • Class 2: Buildings comprising two or more sole-occupancy, separate residential units, such as apartments or flats
  • Class 3: Residential buildings other than Class 1 or Class 2, such as hotels, aged care, child care, or similar facilities
  • Class 10a: Uninhabitable buildings, such as carports, sheds or garages, and decking associated with those buildings in Classes 1-3

We’re often asked about the difference between the BAL ratings of BAL 40 and Flames Zone (FZ). The BAL FZ rating indicates the most extreme exposure to bushfire elements, meaning the building will be directly exposed to flames, radiant heat and embers. The second-highest level, BAL 40, indicates a building will be exposed to radiant heat between 29kW/m2 and 40kW/m2. The heat exposure of a Flame Zone will be double that of BAL 40, and if your home has received this rating we recommend only using products tested to the BAL FZ standard to ensure the greatest protection in the event of a bushfire.

An area is considered bushfire-prone if there is certainty or likelihood it will experience a bushfire. The presence of bushfire-prone vegetation and your building’s proximity to this vegetation is what determines the bushfire risk. Bushfire-prone areas include not only the vegetation but also a 100m buffer zone surrounding it. If part of your land contains a bushfire-prone area, your entire property will be considered bushfire-prone.

If your property receives a higher BAL rating (29-40, or FZ), you’ll likely experience higher construction costs. This is due to the fact your building will need to be able to withstand increased bushfire exposure and will require stronger materials like fire-retardant cladding, heat-resistant doors and windows, and a specific design. While you will be paying more, you’ll also ensure the best possible safety and protection for your property in the event of a bushfire.

When purchasing a property in an area of increased bushfire risk, a BAL certificate can be a helpful tool moving forward. It will ensure you’re aware of the limitations of the property in the event of a bushfire and will identify the construction standards your building or renovation project will need to follow. This will ensure you’re able to accommodate risk associated with your development, reduce the costs of your build, and increase the safety of your site.