If you live in a bushfire-prone area you are probably already aware of BAL ratings and how they affect your potential for roller shutters. Most of our new BAL roller shutter customers are building a new home and working on permits to comply with bushfire regulations so we wanted to clear up a few misconceptions, questions and thoughts around “fireproof roller shutters.”
What is BAL?
BAL stands for Bushfire Attack Level and it describes how much heat or fire exposure a home (or shutters) can withstand. The purpose of BAL ratings is to help prevent bushfires from destroying buildings and spreading to other areas. Each BAL rating is assumed to carry the same risks as the previous rating, as well as higher risk levels.
The levels are:
BAL vs FRL Ratings
Many customers come to us and ask about our “FRL rated shutters.” FRL stands for fire resistance level. There is a great deal of confusion over FRL vs BAL in roller shutters so let us clear a few things up:
FRL applies to “structural components” of a home. Walls, windows, etc. are all FRL rated because they are structural components. WIthout a wall, you don’t have a house. Without a window, your home is incomplete, as well.
Roller shutters are classified as “appliances” not “structural components” and appliances are required to comply with BAL ratings in bushfire areas. They are not, never have and most likely never will be FRL rated. They do not need to be as without them, a home still needs to meet it’s FRL levels and with them, once it’s met the FRL on the window, the shutter becomes irrelevant. It’s an “add on” as if you’d simply put a curtain over the window. A curtain is not FRL rated – it’s a bit of a silly concept!
What BAL Rated Roller Shutters Does EzyFit Offer
We can provide shutters from BAL-Low up to BAL 40. There are currently ZERO options on the market for BAL-FZ roller shutters. If your home requires a BAL FZ shutter you will need to purchase a metal door type shutter from a company like Sonnenshutz.
Our BAL 40 rated roller shutters do not have our normal foam injected insulation as it would heat and explode in a fire. Speak with one of our sales team today about getting your own BAL fire shutters and remember: no roller shutters are fireproof. They’re bush fire resistant.